South Africa News | Aug 16, 2019

Avon Foundation for Women, Avon Justine and Vital Voices team up for a three-day training to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in Cape Town

South Africa Training to prevent gender-based violence

As part of its continued commitment to help women and girls live a safe life free from violence, the Avon Foundation for Women with support from Avon Justine and in partnership with global NGO Vital Voices Global Partnership , is convening ‘Voices Against Violence,’ an international training programme to strategise with and support local leaders in their efforts to prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV) in Cape Town.

GBV remains one of the most prevalent epidemics impacting women and girls in South Africa with three women dying daily from intimate partner violence. According to South Africa’s 2016 Demographic and Health Survey, 1 in 5 women over the age of 18 have experienced physical violence, with this number increasing to 1 in 3 women in poverty-stricken communities.

“Avon has been championing women worldwide for more than 130 years. Voices Against Violence is one of the ways in which we’re tackling gender violence as part of stand4her – our programme which aims to positively impact the lives of 100 million women around the world each year and create a better world for women. This new Foundation funding amplifies the power of our voice. It’s crucial that we open up the conversation about gender-based violence and open up partnerships and connection between the players that can make a tangible difference to women who are impacted.”

Avon Foundation for Women Director, Christine Jaworsky

The Avon Foundation provided a new grant in 2019 to Vital Voices to fund ‘Voices Against Violence,’ a three-day workshop which brings together Avon leaders and beauty entrepreneurs as well as multi-sector stakeholders, including survivor-advocates, to drive discussions and equip them with knowledge and tools to tackle GBV in their respective professional roles. Specifically for leaders in the Avon Justine community, the training focused on providing tools to enable them to strengthen their capacity as leaders at Avon and advocates on behalf of survivors of GBV.

A panel, focused on the continued commitment of Avon Justine to “Stand Firm Against Gender-Based Violence,” featured local leaders working to end GBV in South Africa. To help shed more light on the current realities of GBV in South Africa and to share their support for the cause, esteemed panelists came together in an important discussion during the first day: Tina Thiart, Director of 1,000 Women Trust, Itumeleng Moloko, Counselling Manager of People Opposing Women Abuse, Tarisai Mchuchu, Director of Institutional Advancement of Mosaic, Bernadine Bachar, Director of Saartjie Baartman Center for Women and Children, Bridget Bhengu Corporate Communications Director of Avon Justine, Ellen Plakkies, a domestic violence survivor.

“We are extremely grateful to have the Avon Foundation and Avon Justine as a partner as we convene this incredible group of courageous, diverse advocates and allies... We are hopeful that the capacity-building we have undertaken in collaboration with multi-sector stakeholders here in Cape Town will catalyse holistic responses to gender-based violence that enhance dignity, respect, and access to justice and services for survivors of violence in South Africa, and around the world.”

Director of Justice Initiatives at Vital Voices, Nicole Hauspurg

Photo Credit: Micky Wiswedel