This year, hashtivism on social media not only empowered women, but raised awareness about pertinent issues that until now, were often only discussed in whispers, or not at all. While these conversations are vital, now what? It takes more than a hashtag to put an end to violence against women.
“Hundreds of admirable campaigns denouncing women abuse have been launched. And yet, in South Africa, women abuse remains rife. A more cohesive step must to be taken to create meaningful change and instead of dissipating efforts, South Africans need to come together as one,” says Robyn Farrell, CEO 1st for Women Insurance and trustee of the 1st for Women Foundation.
Enter For Women, a platform that consolidates women abuse fighting efforts in one place. The site features the public, private and non-profit organisations who have vowed to put an end to women abuse, so that survivors of abuse can find the right help, quickly. For Women also enables South Africans and corporate South Africa who want to take a stand against women abuse to easily connect with organisations who need their help.
For Women was developed by 1st for Women Insurance who, over the past 12 years, has donated over R56 million to organisations that fight abuse. The platform is powered by Forgood.
The platform has been structured to holistically address women abuse through three key pillars – prevention (organisations that work to address the multiple and often interlinked causes of abuse), preparation (organisations that empower women with the tools they need to put an end to this social tragedy), and provision (organisations that can support and assist abuse survivors on their journey).
“It’s been said that if you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Over the last 12 years we have been working with extraordinary organisations all playing their part in the fight against women abuse. Now we are bringing South Africa’s collective power together and using it in an impactful and meaningful way. There is strength in numbers and we can achieve so much more if we unite as one powerful force, through For Women, in the war against women abuse, says Farrell.
For Women has been endorsed by the Minister of Women, Susan Shabangu. According to Minster Shabangu: “This year marks the 19th anniversary of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign in South Africa. The theme, Count Me In: Together Moving a Non-Violent South Africa Forward, is on-going and contributes to the message of social cohesion and nation-building through its call on all South Africans to actively advocate for and reject violence against women and children. As government, we endorse the immense efforts of 1st for Women as it takes another important step towards putting an end to women abuse through its For Women initiative.”
Lawyers Against Abuse (LvA) is one of the organisations featured on For Women. Lindsay Henson, Executive Director for LvA says: “Through the For Women initiative, we will be able to assist even more women and children as they now have a place to find us and access the help they need. Our work specifically supports the two pillars of prevention and provision.”
“When society is faced with having to learn about and process a multifaceted problem such as women abuse, one of three things happen. Either we find someone to blame, switch off or we take action. It is our promise to all South Africans that, as a brand for women, we will make a tangible and lasting difference,” concludes Farrell.
- To find out more about For Women and the organisations which are involved or to register your organisation please visit www.for-women.co.za.