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September 13
Matrimonial Property Regimes
October 17

The property industry is embracing the feminine touch

With Women’s Month behind us, it seems appropriate to look back at just where women are standing in the South African property market. As more focus is placed on equality, one can often wonder just how much actual change is occurring in the world. The short answer? A lot!

According to The Business Insider, single women are purchasing their own properties more and more, overtaking both single men and couples by more than 10% in the past year. Even though women could own land in equal terms to men according to the Law of Moses (yes, with stone tablets and water-parting staff in hand, that Moses) women were only awarded the right to own property in the modern era since the mid-1800s. In South Africa, the Freedom Charter of 1955, which was later incorporated in the Constitution in 1994, made it clear that all people were to be treated equally under the law, no matter their gender. In light of this history factoid, the rise of female property owners is astounding.

An even greater paradigm shift can be seen in home loan applications. With statistics showing that there is a rise in successful female applicants while there is a drop in successful male applicants, it is clear that the market is also changing its approach to female property owners. Now, unlike countries such as India, who assist prospective female homeowners in an effort to strengthen women’s part in the economy, South African women have to meet the same criteria as their male applicants. This seems fair at first, considering the “equal” treatment of both genders. The problem, however, arises once wages and salaries are taken into consideration.

According to The Business Insider, the average salary of a woman remains 20% lower than a man’s for the same job. Statistics also show that more women have to carry an entire household financially than men. Taking into consideration the General Household Survey of 2018, it’s also clear that, on average, women save more money and work a lot more responsibly with their finances than their male counterparts.

While the world may be changing in its approach to women’s rights, salary norms seem like they still have to catch up with the times.

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