Department of health controversial ‘sexual’ billboard is not the first

2017-09-13 16:48
PHOTO: Facebook/Eve Dmochowska

PHOTO: Facebook/Eve Dmochowska

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Yet another billboard by the department of health has caused a social media uproar.

The ad, which is displayed in along the N1 in Johannesburg, reads: “Who says girls don’t want to be on top?"

Facebook user Eve Dmochowska shared a picture of the billboard, expressing her complete disgust at the message she believes it is portraying to young girls.

 “Please help me get this billboard off our road,” she wrote.

“‘Who says girls don’t want to be on top?’ Is that really the best tagline that the ‘She Conquers’ initiative, sponsored by government, can come up with to PREVENT sexual violence and promote education for girls?”

She explained that she believes that the message is degrading and unacceptable.


The billboard is part of a campaign by the department of health called She Conquers – which aims to uplift and empower young South African women.

“She Conquers is a three-year national campaign that aims to improve the lives of adolescent girls and young women in South Africa,” according to the campaign website.

Eve continued on her Facebook page, “Must I explain to my 15-year-old daughter what her government means when it questions why she ‘doesn’t want to be on top’?”

“Must we, as women, always bear the burden of sexual innuendo? Is it conceivable that the very institutions which are set up to prevent this discrimination, don’t know themselves how to avoid it?”

In response to the backlash, deputy director-general for the HIV‚ TB‚ and maternal and child health programmes, Dr Yogan Pillay‚ told Times Live that the campaign was anything but a sexual reference.

She explained to Times Live the billboards were meant to encourage and empower young girls to stay in school and break the cycle of new HIV infections and sexual violence.

As shocking as this billboard may be, it is not the only billboard by the department of health that has been received harshly.

In 2015, a billboard on display in Voortrekker Road, in the West Rand read: “I like to give my clients pleasure, not HIV.”

According to Krugersdorp News, this was part of a campaign called Prevent, Avoid, Stop, Overcome and Protect (Pasop), in which the department aims to get residents talking about health issues.

Sources: Times Live, Krugersdorp News , Facebook

Read more on:    department of health  |  billboard  |  governement

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