Indicators of Female Empowerment: Lessons from a Textile Industry

By Marlet Tromp and Willem Roestenburg.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Female empowerment in the workplace remains a critical issue in South African employment situations. This paper presents a culturally sensitive instrument that has sufficient sensitivity to reveal subtle discrimination against women in a textile industry in deep rural South Africa. As tool used in an empirical study it identifies seemingly insignificant indicators of discrimination against women and provides suggestions for the improvment of equity and empowerment that from the outside one would not have thought would make a significant difference in empowerment levels. The conclusion is reached that empowerment of women can be achieved through traditional interventions such as affirmative action and complete equality between gender groups in appointments. But, it is also concluded that significant empowerment of women can be achieved through making very small but significant changes in the work environment. Guidelines in this respect are provided that expand the knowledge and understanding that is necessary to promote gender equity in the workplace.

Keywords: Female Empowerment, Measurement Instrument, Employment Equity, Affirmative Action, Gender, Indicators, Empowerment

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp.239-246. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 515.748KB).

Dr. Marlet Tromp

Associate / Project Manager, Research Division, Afri.Yze Consult Research Company, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

The author has worked at a family welfare organisation, a child welfare organisation and an alcohol and drug help centre, as a social worker. She also worked at Armscor (Armaments Corporation of South Africa), doing security clearances. For the past ten years she has owned her own business. The author completed her Masters degree (cum laude). She has completed her PhD SocSc. She is currently still running her own business and is doing research consultation with Afri.Yze

Dr. Willem Roestenburg

Senior Lecturer in Individual and Organizational Development, Faculty of Humanities, Dept of Social Work, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

The author has been teaching research to Honours and Masters level Social Work students for the past 7 years. He has a keen interest in teaching research methods and specifically statistical data analysis techniques. He likes to empower students with advanced data analysis skills that empower them to become competitive in the professional arena. His main challenge in educational programmes has been to present SPSS in a practical format to his research students. His own research spans the field of scale development, social indicators for measuring well being in society. He does research consultation and is co-director of a research company.


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