SANTA CLARA, Calif.
— The nation’s first female nurse, who died in April, will be created in South Africa after she is medically retired, the country’s health minister said Wednesday.
The announcement came after the South African Medical Association called for a full-on transition for the new nurse, known as Kip, whose death in April at the age of 46 spurred a national debate over how to treat women and gender equality.
She is the second South African female to die in less than a year.
In June, Dr. Shabitha Bibi, the nation’s second female chief medical officer, died of lung cancer at the same age.
Kip was diagnosed with pneumonia at the end of a yearlong treatment for a serious disease, and she underwent a transplant at the University of Cape Town’s Stellenbosch Hospital.
A woman and a man, respectively, were also given the kidney transplant.
But Kip died two days after a transplant, and was rushed to the hospital.
Since then, South Africa has been in a state of emergency, with President Jacob Zuma announcing in January that the country would institute a full transition for its first full female nurse.
Zuma has repeatedly vowed to institute full transition to combat gender-based violence.
With Kip in the country, Zuma is stepping up the rhetoric, calling for a change to South Africa’s outdated laws against prostitution and prostitution-related crimes, and a ban on female-only bars and clubs.
“We’re not going to wait,” Zuma said.
This is a major milestone, and I can’t wait for the day that the first female physician is here, and we can see a change.
“South Africa’s government has already announced the creation of a new position for Kip.
Last week, the Health Ministry confirmed that Dr. Kip Gauteng will be a full professor at the Institute of Medicine in Pretoria, South Korea.
South African Health Minister Dr. Ewen Ralston has said that in order to create a female nurse in the nation, a person must be medically retired and have a medical certificate.
There have been questions about the validity of a medical retired woman’s certificate, however, and there have been calls for it to be revoked.
An estimated 20,000 women die each year from suicide, according to the South Africa Women’s Health Alliance.
Transitioning from female to male was also seen as an important step, but many believe that is not the case in South African society, where the majority of South Africans believe men and women are equally capable of caring for each other.