In South Africa, about 6 million households have women as the breadwinners – about 38% of all homes. Many of these women don’t choose to be the primary financial provider but are forced into it by circumstances. And they are over-represented in the poorest paying and most unregulated sectors of the economy, such as service industries, domestic work and informal work. They also earn less than their male counterparts.

In today’s episode of Pasha, Bianca Parry, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of South Africa, discusses her exploratory study of women breadwinners, which she undertook from a psychological perspective.

She found that they felt fulfilled by their role, although it came with sacrifices and struggles. The women tended to take on a double burden of work and family responsibilities, as most were single. This meant ignoring their own needs. But society should not similarly neglect the evolution of gender roles.

Read more: What South African women told us about being the main breadwinner

“At work sewing” by Africanstar found on Shutterstock

“Happy African Village” by John Bartmann, found on licensed under CC0 1.

“Charcoal” by Chad Crouch, found on Free Music Archive licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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