The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities is continuing to advocate for the sector to have access to economic opportunities during the nationwide lockdown.
“We have been working closely with the legal workstreams looking at the regulations in relation to women, persons with disability and youth. We have had to work closely with the workstreams of the economic sector,” Deputy Minister in the Presidency: Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize said.
The Deputy Minister was on Wednesday in conversation with Civil Society on the various interventions meant to support women, young people and persons with disabilities during the national lockdown.
“We have to ensure that the sector is not forgotten, when you think of keeping a small business afloat, spaza shops. All those things that have changed during this period is because we are advocating for those sectors,” she said.
The Deputy Minister noted the increase in the reporting of cases on gender-based violence (GBV) during the lockdown.
“Women are facing extreme forms of GBV because women are locked in with their perpetrators, with limited opportunities of moving around,” she said.
Government has since developed an emergency pathway for survivors to ensure that GBV victims are assisted.
Addressing the nation on Wednesday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa said gender-based violence continues to stalk the country.
“One of the interventions we have made is to ensure lockdown regulations be structured in a manner that a woman can leave her home to report abuse without the fear of a fine, intimidation or further violence,” said President Ramaphosa.