South Africa: Capetonians Mobilized Against Gender-Based Abuse

Johannesburg — AFTER raising over $1 billion towards causes that champion women empowerment, iconic beauty brand, Avon Justine, is mobilising residents in Cape Town to join the fight against gender-based violence in South Africa.

The company spearheaded this campaign through the eighth annual 'Light Up to Speak Out' candle lighting ceremony in the Mother City on Sunday.

The Light Up to Speak Up campaign is also part of Avon's mission of #stand4her, which is the company's global response to the barriers holding women back from reaching their full potential.

"Avon believes that the fight against gender based violence is neither a fight for women, nor a topic that should only be confined to 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children," said Bridget Bhengu, Corporate Communications Director: Avon Justine.

She said it was imperative that the fight against gender based violence should be sustained throughout the year and this issue be given the urgency it deserves.

"Every society is measured by how it treats its most vulnerable members," Bhengu said.

"Women and children are the most vulnerable members of society, and as such, the fight against gender based violence should be anchored on a multi-stakeholder approach that seeks to provide support to the survivors of violence and foster behaviour change on the part of the perpetrators."

Statistics on the prevalence of gender based violence paint a horrific picture.

In 2018, Statistics SA and the Medical Research Council reported that of child sexual homicide victims, 98 percent were female children with 50 percent of them being between the ages of 13 and 18.

Studies have indicated a close correlation between financial dependency and the prevalence of gender based violence, hence Avon has committed itself to improve the lives of 100 million women each year by advancing their earning potential through the power of beauty and enabling them to live a safe and healthy life.

Bhengu said through this initiative Avon Justine aimed to highlight that the fight against gender based violence was not a woman problem, but a societal issue that required all to participate.

Through words and deeds, each one of us can ensure that gender based violence is eradicated in our lifetime and becomes no more than just a distant memory," she concluded.

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