August month is women’s month in South Africa. And we have seen in the past how proudly we have heard the voice of women who have previously been silenced by society. It gives the spotlight on female issues in this country, and we all have a responsibility to change things for the better. This month we want to put the spotlight on what exactly it means to be a woman in South Africa.
A woman born in the Gauteng Province of South Africa will fall victim to the 25.3% of women in Gauteng who reported being raped - shockingly this includes infants and children. She will have a 25%-40% chance of being a victim of abuse and violence from her male partner. Should she fall pregnant most male partners will up and leave her to raise her child by herself, without him ever acknowledging the existence of the child. She will have a 30% chance of being unemployed and in many cases be left to survive on a minimal social grant. A woman born in South Africa might fall victim to one of the scenarios above, and in some cases fall victim to all of them.
At Child Welfare Tshwane (CWT) we want to empower and encourage women who have been victims to any of the above circumstances - to see new hope for their future. We want to educate and remind them that they can become what they have dreamt.
CWT collaborated with Women’s Leadership South Africa to introduce their Girl-Child Project in June this year. This programme entails meetings once a month for girl and woman victims to come together, share stories, support, and uplift each other. Every girl gets assigned a mentor who help them with the healing process, and educate them in making enlightened choices for their future. They give hope, where it might have seemed all hope has been lost.
We want the girls to be able to retain their DIGNITY by providing them with dignity packages to assist them with basic woman needs. To most of us these items are easily taken for granted. This month we are calling for your help in sponsoring some of these items for the girls. If you have the means in any way, please help us to pack a shoebox filled with items such as:
- Sanitary pads
- Face Cloth
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste
You can decorate your box and include a personal note of hope and encouragement. We will be placing these boxes in the hands of girl and women victims in our Girl-Child Programme. Dignity boxes can be dropped at Child Welfare Tshwane’s Head Office at 72 Oates street, Groenkloof.
“Here's to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.
A strong woman is the one who can dare to raise her voice for the cause she believes in, and this strength lives in a corner in every women's heart, it just needs to be searched.”