Durban - Women in South Africa have played a pivotal role in the country’s response to Covid-19, with many among the thousands of nurses, doctors, emergency personnel and law-enforcement officers at the front lines of the fight against the pandemic, President Cyril Ramaphosa said yesterday.
In his latest weekly newsletter, published on International Women’s Day yesterday, Ramaphosa, however, bemoaned the fact that women still faced numerous challenges, such as being under-represented in boardrooms and corridors of power, more likely to be poor and unemployed than their male counterparts and being vulnerable to gender-based violence and femicide.
International Women’s Day is marked globally every year on March 8 to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
“Fittingly, the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is women’s leadership and achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world.”
He saluted the resilience and bravery of women front line workers, singling out Petronella Benjamin from the Western Cape, who lost her life to Covid-19 just days before she was due to retire after 25 years as a nurse.
South Africa has recorded the highest number of Covid-19 cases in Africa (1 521 068) since reporting the first imported case a year ago.
“Our efforts to contain the pandemic have been greatly boosted by the thousands of fieldworkers like Azalet Dube from Doctors without Borders, who went into communities to raise awareness about the disease …” Ramaphosa said.