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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Occupational Mobility for Female Union Officials: Do Union Bosses Practise What They Preach?
Author:Tshoaedi, Malehoko
Periodical:Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:occupational mobility
trade unions
Labor and Employment
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10130950.1999.9675742
Abstract:Since the 1970s, trade union demands in South Africa have included gender equality in the workplace, where unions challenged management to accord women the same status as men. The hierarchical occupational structure which places women at the bottom, while men remain at the top, has been challenged. However, the same problems that the trade unions have complained about in negotiations with employers can also be found within trade union employment. Women in trade union employment experience problems similar to those of women in other sectors of employment in terms of upward mobility. Based on in-depth interviews with 16 women staff members in selected COSATU unions, conducted in Johannesburg in 1997, this article tries to identify constraints faced by women officials in advancing their careers in the unions. It shows that living in a gender-biased society, gender discrimination in the unions, sexual harassment and lack of a career path are barriers women are facing today. In common with other institutions in South African society, which regard women as inferior and subordinate, cultural stereotypes in trade unions have been used to discriminate against women, denying them access to positions of power.