Avon avails funds to fight abuse over lockdown

Mafahle Mareletse

Avon Managing Director for Turkey, Middle East and Africa, Mafahle Mareletse

by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) THE biggest direct-selling company in South Africa, Avon Justine, is donating more than R1 million to fight the abuse of girls and women during the ongoing lockdown to curb coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

The donation by the company dedicated to empowering women follows the realisation that some victims and survivors are confined to their homes and rendered more vulnerable to their abusive partners during the three-week lockdown.

Avon Justine is making the funds available to organisations that deal with such abuses.

The donation of R1,4 million is part of Avon’s fight against gender-based violence during the nationwide lockdowns around the world, themed, “You are isolated not alone.”

“Most victims and survivors of gender-based violence are facing the terrifying reality of being locked behind closed with their abusers without any avenue of relief or escape due to restrictions on movement imposed by the nationwide lockdown,” said Mafahle Mareletse, Managing Director: Avon Turkey, Middle East and Africa.

He said the isolation that came with the nationwide lockdown had the unintended consequences of breeding and incubating domestic violence as perpetrators of violence could carry out these deeds unhindered behind closed doors.

“As a company for women, we wish to reaffirm our commitment to the fight against gender- based violence. With this financial commitment we are reasserting our commitment to work with like-minded partners to free women and girls from the clutches of misogyny and toxic masculinity.”

The latest move by Avon Justine is earmarked for its current NGO partners.

These organisations include Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children, People Opposing Women Abuse, Tears, Llitha Labantu and Lawyers against Abuse.

Avon has raised and donated over R7 million in South Africa to NGOs fighting gender-based violence.

To date Avon has raised and donated over R7 million in South Africa to NGOs fighting gender-based violence. Avon’s flagship anti-gender-based violence initiative, Speak Out Against Domestic Violence has served 11 million women and educated 29 million women about domestic violence.

The Global Peace Index statistics show that the violence in South Africa is similar to countries at war or in conflict where 2 930 women have been murdered in 2017/2018.

– CAJ News

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