According to Fundza Literacy Trust’s annual survey, 81% of female mobisite users are unemployed, with 7.7% having stopped searching for work


The Fundza Literacy Trust actively celebrates International Women’s Day by releasing its annual digital survey results for 8 March 2024, showcasing the role of digital platforms in advancing literacy and educational equity among women. With over 4.1 million site visitors in 2023, Fundza’s zero-rated mobisite has become South Africa’s most popular fee-free digital reading and writing platform for young South Africans. 

The mobisite, commonly referred to as a “library in your pocket”, aims to increase young women’s access to user-generated reading materials with the vision to amplify female voices in our country through literary means.

The annual survey offers a unique view into the challenges and obstacles facing young women in our country and has been condensed into a convenient fact sheet, available below. 

The survey reveals several economic realities faced by young female readers and writers in our country today. Some of these include the following high-level findings (as extrapolated from the feedback provided by hundreds of users last year):

– Approximately 81% of women not in education lack full-time employment, emphasizing the urgent need for alternative access to written materials. For those with limited resources, Fundza becomes a valuable resource, as 74% of users come from medium-to-large households (4+ members) earning less than R5,000 per month;

– 7.7% of the women not in education that lack full-time employment have given up on looking for work;

– In terms of income, nearly 30% of female respondents relied on social grants, while only 10.6% had an income. The remainder relied on sponsors and family members to get by; and, 

– More than 60% of respondents indicated that their primary language for communication at home was not English. 

“Fundza, in agreement with UNESCO’s stance that mother tongue-based education is a key factor for quality learning and inclusion, offers content written in multiple South African languages and encourages users to write and submit their own stories, articles, and other materials in their mother tongue. This practice enriches the shared pool of literature and provides our female readers with insights into the diverse experiences of other women navigating the complexities of life in South Africa” shares Lea-Anne Moses, Executive Director at Fundza.  

“Continued awareness of the struggles and difficulties facing women and girls in South Africa cannot rely on publicity from biannual holidays. We must actively listen to and value the unique experiences of women and girls, making such recognition a regular practice that enriches our collective understanding.” concludes Moses.  

The creation of safe spaces – digital or otherwise – offers a step in the right direction, providing hundreds of thousands of young women in South Africa with an opportunity to tell their stories, express their frustrations, or share their insights. Fundza remains committed to this task and believes the results of its annual survey will shed light on the challenges facing young women in our country today. 


About Fundza: The Fundza Literacy Trust is deeply committed to enhancing the literacy levels of young people in South Africa and nurturing a generation of informed, active citizens. Through their zero-rated mobisite,, Fundza strives to ignite a love for reading and writing among young people by creating and distributing compelling reading materials authentically rooted in local contexts, mirroring the lives and experiences of South African youth. To learn more about the Trust’s impactful work, please visit their website at


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