Cricket South Africa today throws its considerable weight behind the fight against Gender-Based Violence as it proudly launches the inaugural Black Day.
The Momentum Proteas will powerfully take to the pitch in black at 10am today (Saturday 23 January) for the second One Day International against Pakistan Women at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead, as the national women’s cricket team shines a spotlight on the scourge of Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
For Cricket South Africa, Black Day is a stand to demonstrate the severity of GBV and an opportunity to use its platform as a major sporting federation to raise awareness and education around this serious issue and to have a zero tolerance attitude towards gender abuse.
Cricket fans are encouraged to rally behind the Black Day ODI today by donning black colors in the comfort of their homes and using the hashtag #EndGBV on their social media platforms to spread awareness around gender-based violence.
Organisations that have partnered with CSA on Black Day include feminist women’s rights organisation People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA), team sponsors Momentum, the KZN Cricket Union, Netball South Africa and Banyana Banyana.
“We can’t wait to play in our black kit. The Black Day ODI has brought another level of excitement within the squad, because it is towards a great cause and something that we as the Momentum Proteas players are proud to be associated with,” said Momentum Proteas opener, Laura Wolvaardt.
“We are honored to be creating an event to bring and draw attention to the injustices around GBV and hopefully the excitement around this event will make us raise our performance. We are hoping the festivities around the Black Day ODI will be added motivation for us to produce a display that we as team can be proud of,” Wolvaardt added.
Netball South Africa President, Cecilia Molokwane, has been one of the biggest advocates in sport to confront the issue of Gender-Based Violence and she said the netball fraternity was proud to partner CSA on the inaugural Black Day.
“Gender Based Violence is a pandemic that we need to eradicate completely out of our societies, it really has no place in our lives. As Netball South Africa we continue to do our bit to spread the message to end it and we are delighted that we can partner with a like-minded federation in Cricket South Africa on their #BlackDay Challenge. Together we can do more and go far, and it is for this reason that we are throwing our weight behind this initiative. We challenge everyone to rise above abuse and stand in solidarity with all of us as we fight this monster. We urge all of us to break the silence in our first step to speaking out and #EndGBV,” said Molokwane.
Banyana Banyana captain, Janine van Wyk, Banyana coach Desiree Ellis, and the South African Football Association also added their strong voices of support with CSA for the inaugural Black Day.
“Whilst we are going through a widespread pandemic, we must not forget that we are also fighting against another at the same time, Gender-Based Violence. It gives me hope that someday we will be able to Kick #GBV out, through the unity and support of all South Africans finally taking a stand. As Captain of Banyana Banyana, and on behalf of my team and Federation, we join forces with Cricket South Africa and support the #BlackDay Campaign. I challenge you to stand with us in solidarity, as we move forward as a country where no one fears another,” said van Wyk.
Ellis said Gender-Based Violence “has become a national crisis, but has no place in our society”.
“We all have a responsibility to end it. On behalf of the Banyana team and with the backing of the South African Football Association we stand together with Cricket South Africa on their #BlackDayChallenge and urge everyone to speak out and #EndGBV. Let's treat each other with care and respect,” said Ellis.
The Momentum Proteas Women, representing the highest level of the sport, are the perfect team to stand in solidarity against GBV and messages from the players will be broadcast globally throughout today’s televised Black Day game.
The inaugural Black Day event will start off as an education campaign, with the view of extending partnerships that also raises funds in the drive to educate the public on violence, its effects on families and society, and importantly where to seek help.
The education drive allows greater awareness, giving people the opportunity to speak out and seek help in eventually eradicating GBV in our communities.
POWA CEO, Mary Makgaba, said that “a nation which undermines the rule of law and does not protect women and children from acts of domestic violence, sexual violence, emotional violence, financial violence, physical violence and femicide is not a winning nation”.
“Therefore, we call upon all sectors, sports, government, corporate, business, churches, associations, civil society organisations and all citizens to take part in creating awareness to end gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) immediately,” Makgaba added.
Momentum head of Events and Sponsorship, Carel Bosman, said supporting CSA in driving the Black Day initiative and placing the focus squarely on GBV “is a topic that we as Momentum feel very strongly about’.
“Momentum are taking a stand against the spread of GBV in our families, communities and our country and urge every South African to get behind this GBV Black Day campaign.” said Bosman.
CSA has vowed that Black Day will lead to an ongoing discussion on CSA platforms and that through its partnerships it will continue to spread the message across the country to act strongly against GBV through CSA’s programmes.