One’s choice of life partner is one’s personal prerogative. However, in countries such as South Africa, the reality is that the choice you make will be one that may not be universally accepted. As a result of this, many women and men are faced with the grim reality that the choices they make as to who they love can have gruesome consequences, and in some cases can even result in death.
The harrowing rape crimes meted out to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) community makes for dreadfully gruesome reading. These stories cannot be overlooked just because this minority community has not historically had a voice in places where changemakers could help raise awareness and influence a shift in the narrative.
According to the first-ever national study conducted by Pretoria-based organisation, Out LGBT Well-Being, 88% of those who experienced hate crimes did not report these incidents.
In a bid to highlight the plight of members of the LGBTQI+ community who face wanton discrimination, Avon Group CEO Angela Cretu will commemorate Pride Month on Wednesday, 09 June where Judge Edwin Cameron, an HIV/Aids and gay-rights activist, will deliver the keynote address. This event will be the highlight of a month-long campaign against LGBTQ injustice as the company takes to celebrating Pride along with our employees, Representatives and Consultants over the month of June.
Along with Judge Cameron’s delivery of the keynote address, Avon Justine has committed to making a monetary donation to Judge Cameron’s charity of choice – Guild Cottage Children’s Home – in the hope of being able to use this Pride initiative to not only support the LGBTQIA+ community but also to assist causes close to our hearts.
Avon’s commemoration of Pride Month resonates with our company’s long-standing quest to create a better world for women, children and all others who deal with the repercussions of prejudice in society, by supporting initiatives that seek to remove the obstacles that impede these groups from reaching their full potential.
“The celebration of Pride Month gives expression to our mantra that a better world for women is a better world for all. At Avon, we believe in beauty democracy, which is underpinned by the ethos of inclusive beauty that is open to all. We subscribe to the conviction that everyone is equal and therefore should be treated as such. Pride Month speaks to the self-affirmation of women. It is about replacing shame and stigma with dignity, equality and a celebration of diversity.
“We call upon our Representatives and employees to pledge their support to minority groups during Pride Month and beyond, and through word and deeds, to call out any form of discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community. The celebration of Pride Month mirrors the values of Avon and speaks to the activist stand that we have taken to use the power of beauty to drive positive change and make the world a better and safer place for women,” says Mafahle Mareletse, Managing Director, Avon Justine.
In addition to hosting a virtual Pride event, Avon Justine will also host a Pride Career Week to be broadcast on video sharing platform, Vimeo, on 16 and 17 June 2021. This event is aimed at engaging our Field and Associates to raise awareness around our support for the LGBTQIA+ community, inculcate a spirit of tolerance, remind our communities of the dangers of homophobia and to encourage everyone to move forward in equality.
Pride Month is celebrated annually throughout the world in the month of June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots, the uprising that marked the beginning of a movement to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices against the LGBTQIA+ community.
Celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops and more. We are proud to add our voices to those of the LGBTQIA+ community over the course of this month and hope to see you standing with us in drawing attention to their causes and initiatives.