Woman’s Warehouse 16 days of activation to end GBV and Period poverty

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Every 15 seconds a woman in South Africa is a victim of Gender Based Violence. Nadine Clevely is the founder of Woman’s Warehouse and aims to bring together a diverse mix of women from all walks of life for personal empowerment, self-development and self- sufficiency in their home and workplace.

Woman’s Warehouse is in support of ending GBV and period poverty. A march of 16 days activation arranged by the organisation started on 25 November 2021 and will end on 3 December 2021. The march will start at 11:00 AM and will end at 13:00PM. Participants will meet at Sandown clinic at 10:45 and all marching will head to the JSE building. Partakers are required to dress in all black, not forgetting a face mask, sunscreen and hat.

On the final day of the march a memorandum will be handed over to the JSE building which highlights an action plan to empower corporates to help their staff who fall victim to GBV and educate them on sustainable sanitary wear options to give their female employees their dignity back.

16 Days of Activism is celebrating its 30th anniversary since it’s inception in 1991 and even though this is a massive milestone the reality is there has been very little success in curbing the wave of violence women face on a day to day basis.

The COVID -19 pandemic has exposed and increased GBV cases in South Africa. Fortunately Woman’s Warehouse vision is to be a premium resource for women to have the opportunity to learn new skills, become self-sustaining and independent. The organisation also seeks to be an advocate for women’s rights, promote equality and driving force against gender based violence.

The founder has seen gender based violence, been exposed to it and has survived it. Nadine says “15 years ago God gave me this idea to open Woman’s Warehouse. I didn’t know then what it would look like but I knew I wanted to empower women”.  Fifteen years later Nadine got God’s full vision while she was fasting and praying for other businesses. “God said the time has come to open Woman’s Warehouse. To also prove that God’s timing was perfect, 3months into level 5 hard lock down last year 160 000 cases were reported of GBV.

“I’m a mother and a grandmother, it is our responsibility to break the cycle for the next generation”, said Nadine. If South Africa can curb GBV and period poverty the next generation can focus on improving other elements that the country struggles with.

Period poverty is a problem that is highly undermined. Girls during their periods that don’t have appropriate sanitary wear miss out on life’s moments that they can never get back. If condoms are given freely the same sentiment should be shared if not prioritized because sex is a choice but periods are not.

“One of my biggest achievements is opening woman’s warehouse and it has been life altering” says Nadine.

The public is urged to join in on the march of 16 days activation. Nadine concludes by saying “Wathint’ Abafazi, Wathint’ Imbokotho and its direct translation is “you strike a woman you strike a rock”.

By Sandra Lesenyeho

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