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South Africa’s secondary pandemic is gender-based violence (GBV) against women and children. Around 736 million women and girls globally were abused by an intimate partner in the past year. That’s according to the United Nations – but how many cases go unreported?
As we approach 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, Go Hustle shines a light on an NGO that is passionate about helping women to understand their rights. This will go a long way in the larger fight against GBV and femicide in this country.
Brown Lekekela single-handedly built and runs Green Door Survivor’s Lifeline, a women’s shelter, from his own property in Diepsloot with the help of Blair Burmeister. Green Door believes that the parts of our culture that demean women need to be removed from tradition.
About Green Door Women’s Shelter
Green Door is a registered non-profit organisation that offers temporary shelter, emotional support and counsel to survivors of rape and GBV, with a strong footing in the Diepsloot community. The company was started by Brown, who facilitates an environment that provides holistic support through his centre. Survivors can also reach out to Green Door for medical treatment, legal advice and personal empowerment through skills development programmes.
“Rewrite our Proverbs. Write off GBV.”
Green Door’s campaign looks at certain proverbs about women from some of the primary cultures and languages in SA and rewrites them with a positive spin to empower women. Green Door aims to actively cancel, edit and promote a whole new view of traditional women’s proverbs, effectively disempowering antiquated toxic phrases and proverbs that we were raised on, and steering the narrative towards equality and respect.
Changing societal views
It’s all about steering awareness back towards conversation change – and this will hopefully help show the public how problematic some of our traditions have been. When we change the way society views a woman’s value, we can begin to repair deeply-rooted mindsets that ultimately perpetuate the cycle of GBV.
A lot of work needs to go towards fixing the systemic belief systems that keep women at a disadvantage in the eyes of society. But through small changes by establishments, like the Green Door charity, we will bring female empowerment to the fore.