The Economic Cost of LGBT Stigma and Discrimination in South Africa

By S.N. Nyeck, Debra Shepherd, Joshua Sehoole, Lihle Ngcobozi, and Kerith J. Conron

Despite a progressive legal landscape for sexual minorities (LGB) and court decisions that have upheld the rights of transgender adults, LGBT South Africans experience sizable barriers to economic inclusion based upon race, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression. An analysis of data from South Africa finds that wage discrimination and underemployment related to sexual orientation and gender expression costs South Africa US$ 316.8 million each year. In addition, health disparities disproportionately experienced by LGBT adults cost the country between US$ 3.2 billion and US$ 19.5 billion, and sexual assault disproportionately experienced by LGBT adults costs South Africa as much as US$ 64.8 million every year.


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