#AvonInAfrica Fights Poverty Helps Empower South African Women @AvonInsider @avonfoundation @Avon_UK ‪#CSR‬

“Avon Calling” for South Africa’s Jobless

Cosmetics giant Avon has helped lift South African women out of poverty, according to a new survey.

Oxford University conducted a three year study on women working for the company in South Africa and uncovered some positive outcomes. The door-to-door beauty sales firm is providing women in South Africa with a route out of poverty, the academic study indicates.

“Trade union estimates say black women in South Africa earn an average of 1,200 rand (£94) a month, while white women earn 9,600 rand and white men around 19,000 rand. The Oxford research included surveys with 300 black Avon representatives and 77 customers, plus interviews with Avon’s management, representatives and consumers.

It found Avon representatives’ income put them in the top half of black women in their communities, and brought them in line with what a black South African man earns. Avon representatives with 16 months or more in the system earned enough to cover a typical household’s expenditure for food, nonalcoholic drinks, clothing, shoes and healthcare.” The Guardian

The Avon case study was developed with support from the Pears Business Schools Partnership. The purpose of the partnership is to inspire future leaders to make a positive difference to society.

See the full case study here >>>>

Congratulations and Well Done!


Avon UK

Avon Foundation

Gaye Crispin

#ECSL2016 – End Child Slave Labor by 2016 (please read)
#SayNØkay2FGM – SayNØkay to Female Genital Mutilation (please read)
Beautiful Display of Grinding Stones from Southern Africa – Strike The Women, Strike The Rock

South Africa: Women on Board Programme launched #Africa2013

Pretoria – The Women on Board Programme, which is designed to discover, train and deploy female management talent by strengthening the participation of women in boards, was launched this week.

The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), together with the International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW), Deloitte and Touche, and the United Nations launched the programme in Johannesburg.

Speaking at the launch, Director of Gender and Women Empowerment at the dti, Ntombi Shangase said a register of trained women will be compiled, where companies and other government departments can recruit women for directorships.

“For the dti, empowering women to participate fully in the country’s economy across all the sectors is essential in order to build a stronger economy, achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities,” Shangase said.

She emphasised the need for the private sector to partner with government in an effort to advance gender equality and empower women.

Deloitte and Touche Director Anthea Scholtz said the training will be conducted on various aspects of leadership including governance, ethics, risk management, internal audit, sustainability and integrated reporting.

“We are taking a holistic development of existing and aspiring female directors in that all the trainees will have an unlimited year-long access to the e-learning that Deloitte and Touche provides to their senior management,” Scholtz said.

Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System
Date: 20 Jun 2012
Title: Women on Board Programme launched
Reported by: South African Government News Service

Beautiful Display of Grinding Stones from Southern Africa – Strike The Women, Strike The Rock

What stories these stones would tell….

On display at the Circa Gallery in Rosebank is a beautiful display of 100  grinding stones collected from rural Mpumalanga.

CARLO Gamberini, a collector of grinding stones, is showcasing 100 grinding stones from 250 stones he has in his garden. These beautiful stones were all naturally sculpted by women in the process of grinding maize.

Gamberini’s collection, “Between rock: grinding stones from southern Africa,” is on exhibition at the Circa gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa .

The stones have been collected from villages in Mpumalanga, where they are no longer used by the villagers, says Gamberini. He has collected the stones over the past 10 years. “It is not about the stones, it is about meeting people and hearing their stories,” he adds.

Read more:>>>>

And to others, these grinding stones are much more than just Arty Facts ….

“Wathint’ abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo”

You Strike A Women, You Strike A Rock

Collection of Grinding Stones, Seconds-on-WestThese grinding stones, highly coveted by galleries and museums, represent generations of African women’s toil, joys, struggles, strength and courage.

In South Africa, August 1956, the rock (or possibly grinding stone) came to symbolise female strength, power and courage when over 20,000 women of all races marched to the Union Buildings, Pretoria, to hand over a petition against the Pass Laws and Urban Areas Act.

Many of the women sold their personal items, travelling for days with children on their backs, to participate in this march.

The 20,000+ women of all races, led by Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Albertina Sisulu, and Sophia Williams-De Bruyn, marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to deliver a petition to the Prime Minister, JG Strijdom, protesting against apartheid pass laws that would not allow black people to live, or move freely, outside of township areas without carrying a pass or booklet.

Over 100 000 signed petitions were delivered to the Prime Minister’s office door, protesting the Pass Laws and the idea that a woman’s place is in the kitchen.

This sent a loud message to the public that the women of South Africa would not be intimidated and silenced by unjust laws, and that their place was everywhere – and wherever they decided it to be.

The women also sang a protest song composed in honour of the occasion: Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo! “Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.”

Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo! “Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.”

Lillian Ngoyi (1911-1980)

Lillian Ngoyi (1911 – 1980)

Since that day, the phrase: “you strike a woman, you strike a rock”  has come to represent the courage and strength of the  women of South Africa.

In 2006, as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations for the 1956 Women’s March, the South African government renamed Strijdom Square, where the Union Buildings in Pretoria were, as Lillian Ngoyi  Square to honor all those who took part in the historic event.

Women, rocks, stones and seeds

In Dr Sibusiso Hyacinth’s, “Is a Woman a Rock or a Female a Grinding Stone?” Some Linguistic Reflections on the Translation of the Motto, we find the alternative and interesting translation –  “You strike the female, you strike the grinding stone.”

Egyptian statue depicting a woman at a grinding stone

For thousands of years the grinding stone, as essential to human progress as the wheel, has been woman’s main tool for converting inedible roots, leaves, barks and seeds into rich, digestible foods for her family and community.

Excerpt from my e-book The 3 Core WWW.COMs of Civilisation, by Gaye Crispin, Copyright 2008: “Mankind’s and womankind’s early entrepreneurial endeavours evolved because women created excess, began bartering, established rules for intra-community trade (co-ops), and ultimately developed commercial market places. Women have always punched well above their weight in the market place and the psychology behind it. Women don’t just drive markets, they are naturally masters of the core 3 WWW.COMs of civilisation and trade: 1) Community 2) Communication 3) Commerce. Is it any surprise the marketplace is ultimately a female domain? ”

The United Nations seems to understand this too, with women’s equality and freedom being key to achieving their highly ambitious goal to end world poverty by 2015.  The UN Millenium Project claims: every single goal is directly related to women’s rights, and societies where women are NOT afforded equal rights as men can NEVER achieve development in a sustainable manner.”

And even though the global community is NOT on track to achieve the “end of world poverty” goal by 2015, with the growing number of men and women united in a wide range of actions committed to ending gender inequality and world poverty, it’s only a  matter of time before we can say of world poverty and gender inequality:

Aboriginal grinding stone, NSW

Australian aboriginal grinding stone. Photographer:Stuart Humphreys Rights:© Australian Museum

wathint’ abafazi, 

wathint’ imbokodo, 

uza kufa!

You struck the women,

you struck a rock, 

and you were crushed!

Join the #WDSAfrica2012 Tweet-up on Thurs, 9th August

August 9th is an annual public holiday in South Africa  commemorating the 1956 march petitioning against legislation requiring African persons to carry the “pass.” As a gesture of solidarity with our African sisters, there’ll be a Women’s Day Tweet-up and Meet-up in Sydney on the day.

If you’re interested in supporting the #WDSAfrica2012 tweet-up online, joining us in Sydney for morning tea, or hosting your own morning teaplease let me know.

Let’s celebrate gender equality together by supporting Women’s Day on Aug 9.

Gaye Crispin

Gaye Crispin #SayNØkay2FGM


Please read: We, The Women Of This Generation, Can End Female Genital Mutilation … Worldwide… #GayeCrispin #SayNØkay2FGM