DStv hands microphone to Women of Change


Ignorance has never ignited a revolution, complacency has never brought a better future and silence has never changed the world.

Gender-based violence is no different.

Though South Africa continues to battle COVID-19, gender-based violence (GBV) is another pandemic ravaging the nation - one that has been overwhelming us for years. According to the South African Police Service (SAPS), a woman is murdered every three hours in South Africa. And, during the national lockdown regulations, GBV saw an uptick with no fewer than 21 women and children murdered between the start of the lockdown on 27 March and 20 June.

Ignoring the plight of women, especially during a month that shines a spotlight on women’s issues and rights, would be devastating. And while we do not have the answers, we do have the platform, and that is how we are showing our support against the pandemic that is fast overtaking our country.

So, this Women’s Month, DStv is demanding action. We’re taking action and we’re driving action.

In line with the MultiChoice Group’s #StandAgainstGBV initiative, DStv is handing our microphone over to Women of Change – courageous women who are taking strides towards a better tomorrow. From Women’s Day, Sunday 9 August, we will focus on three non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that help women who have been affected by GBV. The NGOs – Frida Hartley Shelter, Lawyers Against Abuse and Cornerstone Woman – will receive one week of airtime where they will have the opportunity to inform DStv subscribers about the work they do. Additionally, each NGO will do a takeover of the DStv social media channels.

“Our organisation provides support for women who find themselves homeless as a result of abuse or as victims of rape who have been shamed,” says Cheryl Hlabane of Frida Hartley Shelter, which has an 89% success rate in offering women education and employment. “By helping us create awareness, DStv is giving us a platform to not only highlight GBV but also appeal to South Africans to support Frida Hartley in our quest to house women and children, and provide skills development and funding for tertiary education that empowers women to break out of their situation.”

Rethabile Mosese of Lawyers Against Abuse, which provides holistic legal and psycho-social support to victims of GBV and works to change the weaknesses in the justice system, says, “This campaign is important because we need to do everything in our power to protect women. GBV in South Africa is not just a female issue but a humanitarian issue. Everyone should be compelled to help in any way they can. It is critical that we shed light on these issues and the signs of abuse that could lead to the preventable and unnecessary death of a woman. DStv is providing a platform for us to do this.”

“The DStv initiative is powerful because it will help educate people on the important work that various NGOs do,” adds Sam Le Roux of Cornerstone Woman, which offers comprehensive trauma counselling that includes GBV assistance. “Cornerstone Woman knows that every individual’s trauma recovery is different so we steer away from formulaic solutions by providing unlimited counselling and legal support that gives power back to the victim. In the last six months, we’ve seen the need for our services triple and through this initiative, we hope other companies will be motivated to take action and drive awareness, too.”

In August 2019, 30 women were killed at the hands of their partners. By highlighting GBV across its channels, DStv hopes August 2020 will be different.

The Frida Hartley Shelter, Lawyers Against Abuse and Cornerstone Woman are already affecting change. They don’t just touch lives, they save lives. We are committed to assisting with this to help make South Africa safer for women and girl-children now and in the future.

We’re putting Women of Change on display – from your television screens to our social media pages, our DStv platforms will be theirs, ready for them to lead the way to a future in which women are protected, given equal opportunity and heard.

We’re getting involved so that we can stand with Women of Change as those remembered – not for their past, not for their challenges, but for what they’re going to do next.

Now, we’re asking: What will you do next?

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