Coca-Cola, one of the world’s largest beverage companies, has a long-standing commitment to promoting gender equality and ending gender-based violence around the world. In South Africa, where rates of gender-based violence are alarmingly high, Coca-Cola has implemented a range of initiatives to support survivors and prevent future violence.
One of the most significant ways that Coca-Cola is working to address gender-based violence in South Africa is through its partnership with the Thuto-Lesedi Secondary School in Johannesburg. In 2018, the company funded the construction of a safe space on the school grounds, where female students can seek refuge from gender-based violence and receive counseling and support services. The safe space includes private rooms for counseling sessions, as well as a kitchen and garden where students can learn life skills and build community.
In addition to supporting the safe space at Thuto-Lesedi, Coca-Cola has also implemented a number of programs aimed at promoting gender equality and preventing gender-based violence more broadly. One of these initiatives is the company’s “5by20” program, which aims to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs worldwide by 2020. In South Africa, the program provides training and support to women-owned businesses, helping them to grow and succeed in the marketplace.
Another key program implemented by Coca-Cola in South Africa is its “Youth Empowered” initiative, which provides training and support to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, including those who may be at risk of gender-based violence. Through the program, young people learn skills such as financial literacy, digital marketing, and entrepreneurship, which can help them build a better future and reduce their risk of experiencing violence.
Coca-Cola has also taken steps to ensure that its own workforce is diverse, inclusive, and free from gender-based violence. The company has implemented policies and programs aimed at preventing sexual harassment and discrimination, and has committed to achieving gender parity in its leadership positions by 2025.
Overall, Coca-Cola’s efforts to address gender-based violence in South Africa are an important example of how corporations can use their resources and influence to make a positive impact on society. By supporting survivors, promoting gender equality, and empowering young people, Coca-Cola is helping to build a more just and equitable world for all.