To mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence (GBV), Markham has joined forces with Relate to launch the Help! Don’t Harm campaign. As an organization, Markham is taking a stand against gender-based violence and abuse. We’re proud to be adding our voice in advocating and acting against gender-based violence in South Africa and around the world,” said Rademeyer, who adds that proceeds will be channelled to MenCare through Markham’s M.E.N CSI project
The campaign is aimed at educating and inciting a change in widespread disturbing attitudes related to GBV, especially in a year of heightened awareness around victims of abuse in South Africa. Markham will be making limited-edition Relate Help! Don’t Harm bracelets available at selected stores across the country during the 16 Days of Activism. According to CEO of Ralate, Neil Robinson, “The our bracelets are made by senior citizens from desperately impoverished backgrounds, many of who have been victims of gender-based violence within their communities. He said buying a bracelet is a sincere and credible way of playing a role and making a difference in the fight against gender-based violence in our country.
According to StatsSA, a similarly toxic pattern of attitudes towards domestic violence exists between people across the country, with comparably similar levels among both genders believing it is acceptable for a man to hit a woman. It was reported that 250 out of every 100,000 women were victims of a sexual offence, a figure that ranks among the highest in the world.
Relate has previously worked with Markham and TFG on a variety of social awareness and upliftment campaigns, including the 18Twenty8 and PinkDrive bracelet initiatives. Rademeyer and Robinson firmly believe that the Help! Don’t Harm call to action will inspire ordinary South Africans to champion the cause and work towards a safer, equal society for women and children.
“So many of us have family, friends and colleagues who have been and continue to be victims of violence and abuse. Our customers now have this wonderful opportunity to stand with us and show their support for Help! Don’t Harm, by wearing a bracelet and helping us to reach our target of raising R100,000 for gender-based violence prevention initiatives,” Rademeyer continues. The two entities will raise the money for MenCare, a global fatherhood campaign that promotes men’s active, equitable, non-violent involvement and responsibility as fathers and caregivers around the world.
MenCare is run in partnership by Sonke Gender Justice offers educational sessions to fathers and couples to promote gender equality in the home and improve overall family well-being. Robinson noted that the 16 Days of Activism campaign is important and added that every member of society needs to support the campaign, not only for the 16 days but for every day throughout every year. In addition to the partnership, Markham will have silent protests which will be held in all national stores on 4 December 2019 from 9 am to 9.10 am, to show Markham’s stance of condemning any form of violence against women and children. Stores will be closed for the duration of the protest.