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During the 2017 SheEO SleepOut™, female leaders discussed the many challenges facing women in South Africa, including domestic violence, teen pregnancy and abortions.


In 2017, The CEO SleepOut showcased a special chapter Event, The SheEO SleepOut, which saw notable female business leaders and influencers spend a night sleeping outdoors at Constitution Hill Johannesburg. They came together to gain a sense of what life is like for vulnerable communities, and to raise funds for Primary Beneficiary, Door of Hope.

But, this year, the learning went even further. During the evening, they also gathered outside and became deeply engaged in important Fire-side discussions about the challenges facing women in South Africa. These discussions were facilitated by Lisa Vetten, Senior Researcher and Political Analyst for the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre to end violence against women, and other experts in the field of child abandonment and adoption. These experts included Robyn Wolfson Vorster, child protection advocate and journalist; Dr Busi Mkwananzi, researcher and expert on teen pregnancy; Sue Krawitz, Director at Impilo Child Protection and Adoption Services; Talia Magnes from the Shaken and Abused Babies Initiative; Whitney Rosenberg, doctoral student in child abandonment; and Dr Zubeda Dangor, Director of the Nisaa Institute for Women’s Development.

The discussions focused on; Crisis and Teen Pregnancy; The Policing of Illegal Late Abortion Practitioners; Violence, Gender and the Economy; Foreign and Undocumented Children and Mothers, and their Rights; Unsafe Abandonment and the Need for a Safe Haven Law; and High Level Government Support in the Implementation of Adoption as a Child Protection Strategy.

The Participants used the opportunity to think about how they could help bring about change for women in the country. “As female business leaders, we should look at how our CSI funds can contribute to the plight of women and children” said Mandisa Ntloko, GM of Enterprise Marketing and MTN. The issues, ideas and findings raised during the chats will be officially documented and presented to the Minister of Women, Susan Shabangu, in an effort to change policy at an institutional level.

Download the official document outline of the discussions, which helped to guide the Participants in their talks. Read it, think about it, and use it to help you create change in your own environment.

These aren’t just words, neatly packed to sound helpful “in theory”; these are the very real concepts on which the global movement of positive change is built.
It’s with these ideas that The Philanthropic Collection home to The CEO SleepOut is turning old world philanthropy on its head;
getting business leaders to sleep on the streets to raise funds and gain empathy for the homeless in The CEO SleepOut Event;
and sparking conversations that truly lead to worldwide action.

By Ali Gregg