The women’s department, which was established in 2014 to create a framework to implement policies focusing specifically on women, has been running a number of initiatives that seek to change societal perceptions.
One of these initiatives is the robot campaign, which is aimed at educating South Africans towards ending gender-based violence. The campaign uses a traffic light inspired analogy to highlight the tell-tale signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships, with a healthy relationship being green, a relationship in risk being orange and when a person is in a dangerous relationship it would be red.
“Right now there is a robot which is about saying to men, ‘This is what you need to do to measure yourself’. It’s for women and their protection. For children and their development and growth on issues of gender equality,” says Women’s Minister Bathabile Dlamini.
The robots come in three different categories aimed at women, men and children.
From a mainstream media perspective campaigns like the robot initiative did not get much exposure, with Dlamini believing that this needs to change urgently.
“Those are the things that should be picked up by the media. When things do not come from men, they are not given the respect [it deserves], and no one is prepared to listen to you.”