Minister of Women, Youth and People with Disabilities Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is concerned that 28 years after the advent of democracy, women still make up the majority of the poor, unemployed and oppressed.
Nkoana-Mashabane was speaking on Tuesday at an International Women’s Day event in Polokwane themed “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Future”.
The minister said he was concerned that women in South Africa were still collecting firewood, cooking, caring for the sick and doing all household chores while still being oppressed and mistreated. She added that women still lived in fear of their oppressors, who were mostly their husbands and relatives.
The minister said that according to reports, the number of women in South Africa who have been abused since Covid hit the country was alarming.
They had undergone the harshest treatment from those they loved during the pandemic. She said this happened while the same women were raising children and taking care of their families.
“Our children should be raised with love and care and so should their mothers. Everyone should respect their mothers and grandparents every day and also after March 8,” added Nkoana-Mashabane.
She called on violent people to stop and start recognizing women for the good work they do every day in homes and communities.
The minister called on the government to pass laws to ensure that women are respected, treated well and protected from harm.
Nkoana-Mashabane talked about the alleged oppression of women in the workplace and said that more often than not they were paid less than men. She called on the government to ensure that their wages were on a par with that of their male counterparts.
“You will find women across the country with lower pay than men, doing the same kind of work or with the same kind of qualifications. This needs to be corrected.”