Covid-19 exposed the urgent need for women's economic empowerment: Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday said the coronavirus pandemic had exposed the urgent need for the economic empowerment of women.
He was speaking at a virtual summit of G20 leaders under the theme “Building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future”, where he highlighted several challenges the country had faced and strides it had made since the start of the pandemic.
“This pandemic has once again bought to the fore the urgent need for women's economic empowerment. We believe the empowerment of women and girls must remain central to the G20 recovery plan.
“In the difficult period that lies ahead SA looks forward to greater collaboration within the G20 as we work to rebuild in a manner that is more sustainable and more inclusive and better and advances opportunities for all,” said Ramaphosa.
This as he highlighted that the pandemic was the greatest crisis ever.
“The coronavirus pandemic is not only the greatest health crisis of our time, but also a severe social and economic crisis. The pandemic set back the global efforts to eradicate poverty and to narrow inequality around the world.”
Ramaphosa said the plan for recovery from the crisis required countries to double their efforts to meet the global obligations as reflected in the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development, “particularly our commitment to leave no-one behind and help those furthest behind first”.
He stressed that the summit needed to ensure additional financial support, technology transfer and capability support that was needed in developing countries, especially African and small island states.
Ramaphosa also expressed concern about the generation of wealth from crime-related activity, which he said needed to be addressed as a matter of urgency as this affected the GDP of countries.
“Tackling illicit financial flows is an important developmental issue which we must not lose sight of,” he said.
Environmental degradation was also among problems which he said SA remained committed to combating.
“We must remain firm in our resolve to protect our society and the planet from environmental degradation. As part of the wider AU programme, we have developed the African green stimulus programme. We further remain committed as SA to meeting our international obligations to combat climate change.”
Ramaphosa said he was satisfied with the manner in which the African continent had handled the pandemic, saying it had played its part.
“As the African continent, we are playing our part including through the establishment of a Covid-19 response fund to mobilise resources for a continental response and to support recovery.”