Financial services group Liberty, has launched a series of online conversations to unearth the value women bring to the economy in a time of COVID-19 and beyond.

The Liberty Blue Table Sessions is a six-part series hosted by award-winning journalist and broadcaster, Gugulethu Mfuphi, and feature women and men from all walks of life. The aim is to unearth the truth about the value women bring to society.

“Women in South Africa are the backbone of the economy,” according to information released by Liberty. “A Flux Trends Report on the Worth of Women, notes that they contribute over 48% to SA’s GDP, despite earning 27% less than men. They play primary roles in their families and society, yet are still unfortunately not financially compensated enough.”

Why aren’t women recognised for their economic value?

Meanwhile, the household and care work done by women amounts to 53% of South Africa’s GDP. So why haven’t they been recognised sufficiently for the proven economic and relational value they bring?

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The series was launched on 15 July, with the video featured on Liberty’s YouTube channel.

“Women have been overlooked from an economic perspective in this country. we all have personal experiences where this has happened,” says Daphne Rampersad Lead Specialist, Financial Planning.

“Women are key financial decision makers in households, but women are earning 28% less than men! We also save 10% less than men do. So how do we change that to ensure more women are empowered to make decisions and to influence our family and smaller units and future generations going forward.”

“The gap between the haves and have-nots is so large. Our desire for accumulation is so high,” says Pearl Pillay, MD of Youthlab. “Our relationship with money is based on greed.”

She believes that in order to give women more financial power, the focus has to change.

Olwethu Leshabane, Digital Entrepreneur, agrees that women can’t continue playing ‘catch-up’.

“I come from a middle-class family so we never lacked growing up. But later on my parents went through a divorce and we lost everything. My mom became the primary caretaker for three children and since then, we’ve spent our whole lives playing catch-up.”

“We need to educate ourselves – not just in the work world, but to ensure financial security to make sure we don’t live hand-to-mouth every month. We need to have advocacy towards regulating the pay gap and closing the pay gap.”

Watch more of the fascinating discussion below, and don’t forget to watch the rest of the episodes in the series when they are released:


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