“Applying affirmative action to tax laws, to redress the disproportionate impact of VAT and personal income tax on women, especially single mothers, would support SA’s goal of inclusive economic growth and encourage greater labour force participation and entrepreneurship by women,” she said.
Women’s Report editor Prof Anita Bosch, the research chair for Women at Work at Stellenbosch Business School, said though men and women are treated the same “on paper” regarding taxation, retirement funds and social grants, the policies in practice create lifelong financial inequality for women.
Bosch said the report provides a deeper understanding of “the myriad balls women have to juggle, trying to progress while also providing”.
“Greater consideration of the facts of life in SA that hamper women’s advancement is needed in fiscal policy-making,” she said.
An approach covering tax, social grants, retirement funding and gender-based budgeting “should aim to halt the downward spiral of odds that progressively stack up against women as they navigate life”.
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