As part of its commitment to help end gender-based violence (GBV), the Sorbet Group of beauty, nail and hair salons held a roundtable discussion in Johannesburg in December together with POWA (People Opposing Women Abuse).
This event, which also fell within Sorbet’s SEW initiative aimed at empowering women and men, was held to reinforce both bodies’ support for survivors of GBV, while the world commemorated the international 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.
GBV is a profound and widespread problem in South Africa and globally. It is a phenomenon deeply rooted in gender inequality, and one which disproportionately affects women and girls. GBV is intrinsically and deeply entrenched in many institutions, cultures and traditions, particularly in South Africa.
Said POWA communications manager, Thandiwe McCloy: “As POWA, we really appreciate the support of organisations such as the Sorbet Group and the commitment against GBV and it is a perfect organisation to work with based on its focus on empowering women, so thank you to Sorbet for all your support.
“Our vision is a safe and equal society intolerant of all forms of violence against women and girls in all our diversity, where we are treated with respect and dignity and our rights are promoted. As POWA, we support all women and girls who have experienced any form of abuse, whether it be physical abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse or financial abuse. We also provide support group counselling at all our six branches in Gauteng.”
Candice Thurston, Sorbet Group marketing executive (and Founder of Candi&Co) added: “On behalf of the Sorbet Group, we are deeply honoured to lend a hand to an organisation like POWA that supports women and girls who have suffered any form of abuse. This is something very close to our heart as our guests are mostly women and we employ mostly women at all our salons across the country.
“We have over 1 million people that walk through our doors, so it’s important that we all get involved to help end the scourge of GBV, by spreading the word and even getting men involved and not leaving out our boys, as they too need to be taught how to treat women and girls.”
The Sorbet Group has also been involved in identifying individuals within the POWA programme who could be upskilled and trained to eventually be integrated into the Sorbet Community as nail technicians, front desk coordinators, therapists or salon assistants and have already made their first placement of a front desk coordinator in a Sorbet Salon in Johannesburg South.
In addition, the Sorbet Group created the #PaintPurple campaign where they encouraged everyone to visit a Sorbet salon and get their nails painted purple in the fight against GBV. Guests were asked to take a picture of themselves getting their nails painted purple and post it on social media platforms using the hashtag #SorbetAgainstGBV in their posts.
On the 30th of November 2022, a fund-raising initiative was launched in selected Sorbet and Candi&Co stores, where 10% of the nail services proceeds would be donated to GBV initiatives in partnership with POWA. These funds are to be invested into POWA, where upskilling and training will be conducted to make a meaningful difference to the women of South Africa.
POWA provides various services (free of charge), including counselling, sheltering, skills development programmes and legal services for GBV survivors. They offer counselling via email on firstname.lastname@example.org, telephonically on (011) 642 4345/6 or / (011) 591 6800. Anyone across the country needing support can contact them. They also provide counselling via WhatsApp on 060 400 0669 or through sending a DM to their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter platforms at @powa_za.
How can we prevent gender violence in South Africa?
Make your voice heard by declaring publicly that enough is enough:
Challenge the normalisation of violence against women and children.
Challenge gender stereotypes and roles.
Challenge condoning violence against women and children.
Challenge sexist jokes and remarks about women.
@sorbetgroup @sorbethairbar @sorbetman or @candiandcosalon