Empowering Victims, Ending Violence: New Campaign Launches to tackle Gender-Based Violence

Empowering Victims, Ending Violence: New Campaign Launches to tackle Gender-Based Violence
Pictured from left to right are members of the Umhlanga Women’s Association who are involved in the campaign are: Deshani Naik, Karusha Naicker, Praneetha Aniruth, Varsha Bangalee and Selina Pillay.

In its continued support of the Umhlanga Women’s Association’s community-focused efforts, Gateway Theatre of Shopping will host the latest #GBVACE campaign aimed at tackling gender-based violence (GBV) and supporting mental health. Igniting awareness for the campaign are two interactive installations by local artist, Mika Parekh, entitled ‘The Hand’ and ‘The Pledge’.

South Africa has notoriously high levels of violence against women with among the highest rape incidence in the world. The latest police figures show that 10 818 rape cases were reported in the first quarter of 2022. On Saturday 15 April, non-profit organisation, the Umhlanga Women’s Association launched its ACE (awareness, combat, educate) campaign at Gateway to empower communities and tackle GBV at the ground level.   The following week, on Saturday 22 May, the public is invited to view the two pieces of art, “The Pledge” and “The Hand.”

The first installation, ‘The Pledge’, which is symbolic of the call to stop GBV, encourages passers-by to dip their thumbs in red paint and add their print to the installation. The second piece then calls on visitors to pledge their support for the ACE campaign by signing the canvas, thereby becoming a part of this historical movement.

“This is a forever campaign whereby we’re aiming to create awareness and educate the public about GBV and the connection with mental health in an effort to combat GBV in our societies,” explained Praneetha Aniruth, Chairperson for the Umhlanga Women’s Association. “We’re creating an ecosystem of partners – legal, trauma counsellors, NPOs – to collectively eradicate GBV, because we can’t work in isolation.”

Aniruth said another unique element of their approach was the partnership with Mzansi Securifire whose team has created a mobile app which aims to combat GBV: “For the pilot programme, residents from Umgeni River to eMdloti can download the app. If there is a threat of GBV, they can press the panic button, and Mzansi Security will respond, at no cost.”

Finally, educational outcomes of the #GBVACE campaign will be achieved by empowering the youth to recognise, address, and prevent GBV through talks at schools, religious centres, and community groups, as well as ongoing social media campaigns.

“Gateway Theatre of Shopping is proud to, once again, be playing our part in supporting a community upliftment campaign driven by the Umhlanga Women’s Association,” said Michelle Shelley, Marketing Manager of Gateway Theatre of Shopping. “GBV remains a major threat to our communities, and we can only tackle it through collaborative efforts such as these. We encourage shoppers and visitors to head to the installations and make their mark and show support for this important campaign.”

The interactive installations will be at Gateway Theatre of Shopping from 15 to 29 April, 12pm until 4pm, at Entrance 2 across from Essops Furniture Store near Woolworths, 1st Floor Entrance.

For further information on this or other Umhlanga Women’s Association campaigns, email [email protected] or visit www.umhlangawa.co.za.


Interested people can register on the app to be onboarded as a free user.


#GBVACE #GWGBV #GatewayWorld  #GatewayUmhlanga  #GatewayShoppingCentre  #GatewayTheatreofShopping