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What consumer habits can reveal on gender gaps

NEWS
By Allan Mungai | March 8th 2020

A consumer survey found that women are more likely to adopt convenience-led technologies and services such as home deliveries more than men.

The study, conducted by American data analytics firm, Nielsen, examined how gender affects consumer decisions.

Of the respondents in Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, North America and Latin America, 89 per cent of women said it was up to them to perform household chores, prepare food and shop for the households. Comparatively, 41 per cent of men said they played a part in shopping and preparing food, 43 per cent said they performed household duties.

One of the larger findings of the survey found that nearly half (46 per cent) of women globally believe that financially, they are worse off or about the same compared to five years ago. In Europe, that percentage is higher, at 66 per cent, followed closely by North America at 61 per cent.

In Africa and the Middle East, 52 per cent of women believe they are worse off than the men. While “about the same” might appear positive, the report said, a flat income does not help offset rising costs of things such as food and childcare and other costs of living.

In both Latin America and Europe, the financial pressures are stronger, and over half of women (54 per cent and 52 per cent, respectively) feel they only have enough money for food, shelter and basics, which is about 10 percentage points higher than men.

Fifty per cent of women in Middle East and Africa feel they only have enough money for food, shelter and basics. This is eight per cent more than the men.

Comparatively, the global percentages stand at 40 per cent of women and 36 per cent of men.

The survey also quoted World Economic Forum estimates that equality won’t be a reality for another 108 years.

“Women must first overcome serious barriers, including: a lack of hiring diversity, laws preventing them from working, short or non-existent maternity and paternity leave, insufficient access to education and more.”

These issues are particularly top of mind for women in Africa, the Middle East and in Latin America, where job security and the economy are top concerns. Globally, health tops women’s list of concerns but in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, more women prioritised job security and a strong economy over health.

The location of a store was also found to influence men more than women when deciding where to shop. 61 per cent of women say a convenient store location is a key factor. Men on the other hand, are willing to go further, 53 per cent will consider the convenience of a store in their daily shopping.

The survey proposes that companies address inequalities in pay and leadership, as well as by establishing flexible hours and options to work from home to champion women’s well-being.

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