Unbox HER Campaign – A Youth Day Event in Roodepoort (June 2023)

16th June 2023 was a special day at Lambano Academy in Roodepoort, Gauteng as Impact Drivers hosted a 2-day filled intervention to let girl’s and woman’s voices be loudly heard. Uminathi Magoai and Gugulethu Nkosi (who are both GBV Ambassadors of Lambano Academy) share their experience of the day, and what it meant to them.

Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) are often marginalized and discriminated against in South African society. They face a number of challenges, including poverty, violence, and lack of access to education and healthcare. These challenges make it difficult for AGYW to uphold their sexual reproductive health and rights. One of the biggest challenges facing AGYW is the lack of access to healthcare. According to a 2019 report by the Guttmacher Institute, only 55% of girls aged 15-19 in South Africa have ever had a sexual health check-up. This lack of access to healthcare makes it difficult for girls to get the information and services they need to protect their sexual and reproductive health. The other challenges include inclusion & diversity, patriarchy, societal norms and religious beliefs.

As a result of the above, a new campaign came to life: Unbox HER. Unbox HER is an AGYW-led initiative by HER Voice Fund and Impact Drivers that aims to celebrate adolescent girls and young womxn (AGYW) in their diversity and to break down patriarchal, societal, and religious norms that are harmful to them. This campaign further reaffirms AGYW in their diversity that it is their fundamental power to uphold their sexual and reproductive health and rights. The campaign will do this by creating a mini documentary that showcases the diversity of AGYW in South Africa. This campaign uses controversial and provocative messaging and conversations that aims to draw the society into the different perspectives AGYW have on what a diverse world looks like. This is a call for the society to stop putting labels on us and limiting our participation based on how we identify ourselves. This is an invitation to see diversity in the lenses of AGYW.

The first intervention was a Dialogue between adolescent boys and girls and young men and women on what it means to actually Unbox HER. The boys were exposed to different topics including how society has always labeled women to be, and the conversation was around how to rewrite what girls and women stand for, and what better way to go about it than to have boys and men present to be part of the conversation. With the world changing drastically, old ways of thinking should also be updated, to not limit girls and women, and the dialogue was the beginning phase to an adapted mindset and the boys welcomed the campaign and what came out of it, with an open mind.

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