Social Development launches the Orange Day
by Luvuyo Ndarhane

The Department of Social Development pulled out all the stops to put a firm stand against the escalating rate of abuse against women and children by launching the Orange Day Campaign in Bhisho on February 24, 2019. The Orange Day is a campaign that is aimed at uniting communities to fight against the scourge of abuse of women and girls in society.

                 (Chief Director Mrs Shirly Hugo giving a speech during the Launch of the Orange Day in Bhisho)

The campaign attended by Head Office officials, will be implemented on the 25th of every month and the future plan is to extend it to other Departments as Gender Based Violence (GBV)  against women and children is a societal matter. Officials wore a touch of orange in solidarity with the cause as the colour orange symbolises a brighter future and a world free from GBV. Also the colour orange is intended to  spread  and promote the campaign in families, governments, civil society organizations, private sector organizations and  the media.

Edcon in collaboration with Social Development officially launched the campaign in Nelson Mandela Bay last year  where it currently supports seventeen (17) shelters of survivors of GBV. The initiative has been widely supported by government, particularly as it offers a unique social enterprise model based on an integrated social responsibility, skills development and entrepreneurial development approach. It also enables women to become active participants in the economy as some are integral of EDCON’s supply chain. Since its inception in 2015, the initiative has benefited over 120 women in provinces where it has been rolled out, all of whom have been afforded the opportunity to receive accredited training in sewing from SEW Africa College.

Delivering a speech during the provincial launch in Bhisho, Chief Director for Special Welfare Services Mrs Shirley Hugo thanked men  for their presence at the launch. She said violence against women is largely perpetrated by men and their presence will be able to spread the word  by mentoring other men to stop abusing women and girls.” With active participation of men in this campaign and the empowerment of women and girls, abuse of women and girls will surely be eliminated in society”, cocluded Hugo.

The 2019 theme for the campaign was : Orange the World – Generation equality Stands against Rape. People are also encouraged to participate in person or in social media via the following hashtags:
Government is planning to host public events that are aimed at promoting this campaign. Iconic buildings and landmarks will be “oranged” to drum up support for this initiative.