Carol Shereni, the woman behind the gender-based violence app

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South Africa, Johannesburg, 02 September 2022- As women’s empowerment has become more important over the years, Zimbabwe-born Carol Shereni has proven to be dominant when it comes to putting women first. Carol Shereni, now the Empire Partner Foundation’s SADC Regional Coordinator, was born in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Carol traveled to the United States right after high school and balanced her dual degree in accounting and finance with her passion. At the age of 19, she started the first in a series of self-esteem courses at the University of Edinboro in Pennsylvania, where she brought together female students who had faced various forms of gender-based violence such as violence, rape and abuse and helped them rebuild their self-image and confidence, and find purpose

“So many women are victims of GBV and unfortunately lose their self-esteem and confidence. This is something that should not be ignored as it leads to social exclusion and how they engage with the rest of the world” – Carol Shereni SADC Regional Coordinator Empire Partner Foundation

Carol increased her influence by writing books. Her book, Rise Above It, was published and launched in the United States. It was written from the heart to inspire women to rise above self-limiting beliefs. The book has been featured in The Oracle, a newspaper in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA and has been a gateway for several speaking platforms in the USA, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Carol’s book, Inner Beauty, opened up speaking platforms for Carol to speak to women about self-esteem, confidence, and other worthwhile virtues.

Carol has been a speaker at women’s conferences including Encounter Women’s Conference (USA), Diamonds Women’s Conference (Zimbabwe), Precious Stones Women’s Conference (Zimbabwe) and iRise Women’s Conference (USA) . In Zimbabwe, Carol has made media appearances on Capitalk FM, Star FM, ZiFM Radio, Classic 263 Radio, Power FM, NewsDay, ZBC’s Good Morning Show and ZBC National News.

In 2017, Carol was featured in Volume 1 of Woman Excel’s book on successful women in Zimbabwe. In 2018, Carol was a key contributor for a season of Capitalk FM’s Woman to Woman Show.

In 2020, Carol launched her skincare brand, Esteem Skincare (Pvt) Ltd, in Zimbabwe.

“I don’t see women’s empowerment as just protection against GBV. There are many ways to empower women through simple things such as skincare, education, to name a few. I just decided to focus specifically on skincare as I believe your skin is also essential to your overall health” – Carol Shereni SADC Regional Coordinator Empire Partner Foundation

In 2022, Carol was appointed SADC Regional Coordinator for the Empire Partner Foundation GBV-F Campaign. This is a role she currently holds, coordinating activities with stakeholders from various industries, to ensure a safer and more secure environment for women.

“In our research on when we developed the app with Afri-tec, we found that one of the main issues with GBV is that victims cannot report their devastating incidents because their family and/or or their friends don’t believe them. The police don’t have enough evidence or the victim doesn’t have enough time to report to the police. This can really be limited if one can gather evidence by yourself by simply using an app on your phone before or after an incident,” adds Carol Shereni.

In collaboration with Empire Partner Foundation, Afri-tec recently launched an SOS Alert application which aims to help women in times of danger such as GBV. The SOS Alert application is intended to be used in the event of an emergency in the context of the fight against GBV and femicide. The advantage of this application is that users can add an unlimited number of trusted people to their circle who will be alerted in the event of danger such as GBV.

“The aim is to protect the most vulnerable people in societies, namely women and children, and technology is capable of doing this” SADC Regional Coordinator of the Empire Partner Foundation.

The END GBVF is a campaign launched by the Empire Partner Foundation to use a technology-based approach to address and combat GBV-F. The campaign aims to protect women in South Africa and reduce the alarming statistics currently.

Described as South Africa’s “second pandemic” by President Cyril Ramaphosa, gender-based violence and femicide in South Africa continues to rise at an alarming rate, making it one of the most dangerous places in the world for women.

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