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As the world battles COVID-19, a certain number of women in South Africa are fighting what the United Nations terms the shadow pandemic: endemic gender-based violence (GBV). The government GBV and Femicide Command Centre alone recorded more than 120,000 victims in the first three weeks of lockdown last year.
Research shows that COVID-19 has caused women greater economic hardship than men. Women’s month is an opportunity to address larger societal issues such as equality, poverty and income security. Women must be financially independent to be fully empowered.