Profiling gendered multidimensional poverty and inequality in post-apartheid South Africa

Reducing the gender gap in poverty remains a priority for South African policymakers. Using the 2018 General Households Survey (GHS), this paper examines gendered multidimensional poverty in post-apartheid South Africa. The analyses draw on Alkire-Foster multidimensional poverty methodology to present multidimensional poverty measures for men and women. The dimensions and indicators used in this paper are slightly adapted to reflect the socioeconomic realities and circumstances that are unique to South African households and individuals. The results show a persistence in multidimensional poverty among women, as the magnitudes of multidimensional poverty measures remain higher for women than for men. Further findings show that the economic activity and health dimensions contribute substantially to poverty among men and women. Notably, contributions of unemployment and the presence of chronic disease(s) indicators for gendered multidimensional poverty are more considerable for women than for men. In order to further reduce gendered poverty, this paper recommends strengthening a social policy review that strongly promotes more job creation, health-enhancing interventions and potent ‘gender sensitive’ ideologies.