n Journal of Public Administration - Women's representativeness in the South African public service

Volume 46, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



This article examines the extent to which women were represented within senior management services (SMS) in the South African public service during 1999 to 2009. Statistics from quantitative research were used to determine whether women benefited from the equality and equity provided by the government. The results suggest that it will take considerable time for women to reach equality with men as top executives, since the government's target of 50% women's representation at SMS by 31 March 2009 was not achieved, although women comprise 52.76% of the working population of South Africa. The South African public service achieved 34.87% women's representation at SMS, which was a slowdown in women's advancement at a rate of 1.11% per year from 2005 to 2009. Women's representation would not only bring about substantive equality and equity in the South African public service, but would also permit women equal access to the government's decision-making processes. It is suggested that women be given more advancement opportunities, which would allow them to achieve representation and self-actualisation.

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