In the many tributes to Nelson Mandela, one of his signature political achievements has not been mentioned or discussed enough. He worked tirelessly for the empowerment of women on many levels and stated: “As long as the nation refuses to acknowledge the equal role of more than half of itself, it is doomed to failure.”
In 1994, he established Aug. 9 as Women's Day, a national holiday. Many more initiatives for gender equality followed, including comprehensive constitutional guarantees. South Africa is currently eighth in the world for electing women. Meanwhile, the United States is 79th, tied with Albania.
Paula Xanthopoulou, Miami