Mathapelo Khanye, NUM National Women's Structure national secretary. File picture: @NUM_Media/Twitter
Mathapelo Khanye, NUM National Women's Structure national secretary. File picture: @NUM_Media/Twitter

NUM women slam rising wage gap

By Ntombi Nkosi Time of article published Apr 20, 2021

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Johannesburg - The National Union of Mineworkers’ National Women Structure has expressed disappointed with the continuous and increasing gender wage gap.

This sentiment was shared at a recent meeting where the trade union committed to closing the pay gap between women and men performing the same work.

The meeting was convened from April 15-16 in Midrand.

Women from 11 regions gathered to celebrate and commemorate the great work done by anti-apartheid activist Charlotte Maxeke under the theme “Women leading change in current political state”.

“One important political achievement has to be the adoption of the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation, which was due to be transposed by 2011,” said Mathapelo Khanye, NUM National Women's Structure national secretary.

“We should also encourage social partners to shoulder their responsibility in terms of creating a more gender-equal wage structure; to provide training courses on negotiation skills, including wage negotiation by taking into account the effects of the economic downturn.”

Khanye said a strong and favourable regulatory framework on gender equality, requiring bargaining to tackle pay inequalities, is important as it stimulates a climate of equality awareness within the social dialogue, and it facilitates persuading reluctant employers to take gender equality issues seriously.

However, she maintained that the legislation alone was not enough.

“A multi-faceted approach also enshrined in trade unions and collective bargaining is strongly needed,” she said.

Khanye said the impact of Covid-19 on women since the inception of national lockdown has affected millions of vulnerable workers that are not only engaged in precarious work or survivalist activities in the informal and formal economy.

“We call upon the government to increase the safety measures that are in place by changing how GBV and rape cases are being reported, handled and actioned in the police stations, that GBV and or rape reported cases are concluded in the same SAPS premises and not for the victim to be sent back and forth to hospital and police stations.

“We then resolve that one-stop service be provided at one servicing point being at a police station, hospital or clinic that a case be reported, opened and actioned, a specimen was taken, trauma counselling provided then the victim be taken to a place of safety if need be,” said Khanye.

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Political Bureau

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