Johannesburg – South African model Jo-Ann Strauss has challenged policymakers to honour nannies for their contributions towards economic emancipation by taking care of children so that their parents can go to work.
The star said child minders were the unsung heroines in South Africa and beyond; often losing out on raising their own children and building their homes; while their employers pursued rewarding careers and made names for themselves.
“Let’s be honest, the South African economy and other economies depend heavily on these incredible women who look after our kids when we are at work and who make sure that we look like we have our things together,” Strauss said on social media this week.
She added that although she appreciates the world’s efforts on appreciating women through celebrations like Mothers’ Day and International Domestic Workers Day, more recognition was in order.
“Mothers’ Day also works as often these women are the co-mothers, but maybe the Friday before Mothers’ Day should be Nanny Day. Anyone with me? Please share why your nanny is so special and I’d like to pay R1,000 into her account as a gift on Friday,” the model added.
“I’d like to propose that we start a National Nanny Day (does that exist?) or a day on which we honour the domestic nannies who often have to leave their own families to help us raise ours,” she said.
Strauss said in many instances, nannies were the only real maternal care that children experienced as the kids’ own mothers spent more time at work than at home.
Despite all their contributions and sacrifices, nannies remained among the lowest paid workers in the world but continued to do their work with dignity and devotion.
“Sadly, despite these herculean efforts, nannies are undervalued and unrecognised; even though they play a central role in our society,” Strauss said.