Dove and the Department of Basic Education Join Forces to Empower South African Girls

Dove and the Department of Basic Education Join Forces to Empower South African Girls

In a world where body image issues among young people are on the rise, Dove, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education (DBE), has once again taken a bold step to inspire and empower South African girls in commemoration of International Day of the Girl Child. Globally celebrated as the International Day of the Girl Child, October 11th is a day dedicated to recognising and celebrating girls’ resilience, potential, and rights.

Dove has once again joined forces with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to work towards the common goal of fully equipping young people with localised educational tools that will help them ultimately realise their full potential – raising the next generation of strong, confident young people. This was done through a 2-day workshop on 25 and 26 October in Stellenbosch, Cape Town, Deputy Education Minister Dr Reginah Mhaule was in attendance to speak life to the younger generation, alongside influential body positivity advocates to raise awareness around self-esteem among SA youth. These esteemed panelists included: Botlhale Boikanyo, Hulisani Ravele, and Nompumelelo Ledwaba (Mpoomy Ledwaba).

Deputy Minister Reginah Mhaule expressed her support, stating: “Empowering our girls is a priority, and the partnership with Dove demonstrates our commitment to nurturing their self-esteem and self-worth. Together, we can create a brighter future for South African girls.”

Day one was dedicated to delivering the workshop, focusing on Dove’s research findings such as, 52% of girls feel less beautiful after seeing photos of their friends on social media. The consequences of this distorted self-image are profound, impacting not only them but society as a whole. Day two was focused on advocacy in partnership with DBE, the media, and ambassadors to raise awareness of the girl child. Dove’s own work on body positivity has culminated in the Dove Self-Esteem Project (DSEP), and the release of its Confidence Kit. They have since achieved a significant milestone by integrating the DSEP Confidence Kit into the Life Orientation Curriculum in South African schools.

“Dove’s research has revealed that over 80% of South African girls are ashamed of their appearance, with 83% altering or concealing at least one aspect of their bodies before sharing photos on social media. These statistics are deeply concerning, reflecting a crisis in self-esteem and body confidence among young girls,” says Dove Spokesperson (Masechaba Sekhitla).

The DSEP and confidence kit extends beyond the classroom and is a call to action for parents, caregivers, and educators alike. It is essential to foster open conversations about body image, teaching that beauty is diverse, and self-worth is not tied to appearance. As we celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child, let’s unite in this mission to empower young girls and create a world where they can grow up with the confidence to be themselves.

Masechaba Sekhitla Brand Lead for Dove South Africa at Unilever said: “With our DSEP Confidence Kit integrated into South African schools, we are taking a significant step toward building a generation of confident, empowered, and resilient young girls. Our workshop brought together some of the country’s most vocal activists to further unpack the challenges young women face daily.

This project will help many young woman find the confidence they need to thrive! I loved

I loved seeing the hard work come together.

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