CAPE TOWN, AUGUST 4, 2023 – An empowering and uplifting brunch was held yesterday to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1000 Women Trust which raises awareness and empower survivors of gender-based violence (GBV).

Keynote speaker, Professor Thuli Madonsela, the former Public Protector who holds a chair in social justice at Stellenbosch University, spoke about empowerment and financial wellness, while 1000 Women Founder, businesswoman and philanthropist Wendy Ackerman addressed the 200 guests on the 20-year journey of the NGO.

Madonsela called for women to empower themselves by using not only constitutional policies, but also by seeking out their own opportunities.  “We need to replicate what 1000 Women is doing, so that every village and every woman is reached and supported. When we empower women, everyone in society, regardless of colour, benefits,” she said.

Since inception, 1000 Women 1 Voice had created awareness, organised safe spaces for women and mobilised resources to amplify the voices of women and girls in South Africa, said Ackerman.

“Over the two decades, we have made an enormous impact and have empowered so many through the programmes that my co-founder Tina Theart and her team put in place. My hope is that you will all carry the message of compassion and goodwill from 1000 Women Trust to the rest of the world.”

The by-invitation only brunch was held at Pick n Pay’s conference centre in Kenilworth and attended by brand ambassadors, businesswomen, sponsors and other stakeholders. The event was attended by numerous influential figures, including 1000 Women Ambassador Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis’s wife Cara, Western Province first lady Tracey, and Pick n Pay founder Raymond Ackerman.

African Bank donated R50 000 to 1000 Women Trust to support the work the organisation does to help victims of GBV. The Bank’s Group Executive: Transformation & Sustainability, Edna Montse said that individuals collectively made up society. “We need to be kinder to each other – we continue to fail each other and ourselves if we don’t open up our spaces for loved ones to be able to talk about their challenges. We need to take care of ourselves – have the audacity to believe in yourself,” she said.

The morning’s proceedings were emceed by KFM’s Saskia Falken and included a fashion show with a preview of 15 looks from Pick n Pay Clothing’s Spring/Summer 23 catalogue. This was a sneak peak of a special Woman’s Month collaboration symbolising the multi-faceted nature of women, which launches later this month. It unites designers Thando Ntuli, who completed the product designs, and Kiav Mitoo who designed the range’s prints.

The initiative of gathering 1000 women annually has seen many prominent women joining forces to create change, leading to investment in trauma training programmes and the Talking to Boys and Hear Me Too campaigns. The NGO’s anti-bullying toolkit and training course reached more than 4 000 parents and teachers to help schools address the issue.

The 1000 Women Restart Programme was launched two years ago in collaboration with Pick n Pay as a comprehensive campaign to empower victims of gender- based violence. This campaign, which included online webinars, equipped South African women who lost their jobs during the pandemic with new resources, skills, business mentorships and hope.

On August 8, 1000 Women will host a Women’s Festival at Artscape, where a day of networking, entertainment and education will be led by keynote speaker Advocate Yasmin Mohamed. Tickets at R100, can be purchased by emailing

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