Decisions for Life

All about the Decisions for Life project, Young Women in South Africa, Young Women and Salaries and Wages and Work in South Africa and more on Mywage South Africa

What is Decisions for Life?

Decisions for Life is a Wage Indicator/ITUC project designed for young women. The project aims to raise awareness amongst young female workers about their employment opportunities, career possibilities, family building and the work-family balance. The lifetime decisions adolescent women face, determine not only their individual future, but also that of society: their choices are key to the demographic and workforce development of the nation.

Where does it focus?

Decisions for Life focuses on 14 developing countries, notably Brazil, India, Indonesia, the CIS countries Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and the southern African countries Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe. It targets adolescent women in the service industries because these industries employ the majority of working women aged 15-29 and because these industries are growing in (almost) all 14 countries.

Who does it target?

The project zooms in on eight occupational groups, notably call centre operators, secretaries, bookkeepers, IT programmers, sales persons and cashiers in retail, front office workers / receptionists in hotels, travel agency intermediaries in tourism and housekeepers in hotels. It is estimated that in the 14 countries selected 10 to 12 million female adolescents aged 15-29 work in the services industries concentrated in urban areas.

How does the project work?

Decisions for Life uses two mutually reinforcing approaches to raise awareness. 

First, there is a trade unions campaign aiming to reach 10 000 women. These campaigns include face-to-face meetings, training sessions and dissemination of offline materials. 

Second, the internet is being used to reach one million women in the eight occupational groups mentioned. Given these occupations and the urban areas where they are concentrated, it may be safely assumed that the internet is an efficient medium for reaching them.

Who is involved?

The International Trade Union Confederation ITUC provides overall project management. Raising gender awareness is part of ITUC’ s long term strategy. Moreover, ITUC cooperates with the Wage Indicator Foundation, which has longstanding experience in the development and operation of attractive websites on work and wages, currently operational in 35 countries.

The scientific partner of ITUC in this project is the University of Amsterdam/AIAS, which specialises in worldwide inventories underlying the decent work agenda, wages, and companies’ industrial relations systems. Together these partners compose a supervisory management board that convenes on a regular basis during the project.

Decisions for Life has been awarded a MDG3 grant from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in support of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals no 3 (MDG3): “Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women”.

Read more

Find out more about Women and Work in South Africa. And visit the Wage Indicator Foundation to see what they do.


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