COVID-19 has exposed vast inequalities across the world. Fragile healthcare systems, racial injustice, gender-based violence, global hunger, collapsed economies –– the most vulnerable and disenfranchised groups are suffering most as this pandemic spreads.
South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world. Though significant progress has been made post apartheid, more than half the population still lives in informal housing, the quality of education is poor, the unemployment rate is high and women are unequally impacted by these injustices.
Women find it harder to secure jobs, and when they do, they earn less than men. The nation has the highest gender pay gap in the world, with women earning on average 28% less than men.
As if that was not enough, women make up more than half the population, yet statistics show that less than 38% have been employed in any year and those employed are under-represented in leadership positions.
Gender equality is achieved when women and men enjoy the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of society. As lockdown restrictions are lifted and the country starts to rebuild the economy, gender equality needs to be front and centre of our response. Leaders need to be committed to advancing women, otherwise nothing will change.
It is simple –– if you are tackling the world's problems, women must always have a seat at the table. Women should play an equal role in shaping policies and decisions that affect their lives and society. Record a video now telling the South African government why the new economy must empower women. Share tips on what they should focus on and we will make sure the Department of Women, Youth and People of Disability sees these as we continue advocating for gender equality.
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