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Are you a businesswoman? If yes, you’re invited to spend one night outdoors at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

The Minister of Women in the Presidency, Susan Shabangu, invited The Philanthropic Collection to move the date of The CEO SleepOut™ event to Tuesday 8 August 2017, the eve of Women’s Day in South Africa.

Why should you sleep out?

This year, the project (supported by media partners CNBC Africa and SABC) aims to create awareness, encourage participation and galvanise the nation to support and empower vulnerable communities. It will also raise funds for Door of Hope, an NGO that works to care for abandoned babies, often a result of crisis pregnancies and domestic violence. Minister Shabangu says, “I support the SheEO SleepOut™. I am also excited to see female business leaders in South Africa and influencers come together to discuss solutions for change.”

RELATED: Should South African Women Walk For Change?

Violence against women and children

The Minister also highlighted the fact that Women’s Day is a tribute to the more than 20 000 women who marched on the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the dompas. Pioneering philanthropist and founder of The Philanthropic Collection, Ali Gregg says, “The Women’s March happened 61 years ago this year – and it is fitting that there are now 61 days to go to the new event date!”

“The attacks on women in South Africa that have been highlighted recently have shown us that the event is more important than ever. While abuse of women is a problem for both men and women, this event can become a space for women influencers to discuss change for their sisters, mothers and daughters,” says Gregg. “It also emphasises why the work of our primary beneficiary, Door of Hope, is so necessary.”

Luke Lamprecht, CEO SleepOut™ Beneficiary Consultant and Child Protection Specialist, says, “The challenge is we often do not know the reasons behind abandonment. What we do seem sure of is that men abandon the women before women abandon their children. Often these women are also abandoned by their family, and are left with no support.”

In support of the movement

The decision to move the date of the event has been supported by The SheEO SleepOut™ brand ambassadors, Adv. Thuli Madonsela and Professor Justice Yvonne Mokgoro. Ms Madonsela said, “The timing of the event is excellent. Often we think government needs to solve all the problems … but we all need to play a role. And when it comes to issues of troubled families and communities, we are closer as community members to these problems, and we can do something …”

Professor Justice Yvonne Mokgoro explains, “The stats will show you that there are not nearly enough women business leaders playing the role they should be in South Africa, despite all the equality we have guaranteed in the constitution, and I think we are missing out on the capacity women have to be change agents.”

Source and images: JNPR

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