Grupo Codere is embracing change. One of its first goals is to improve its corporate image. The global gaming company hopes to accomplish this, in part, through a new corporate social responsibility campaign targeting gender violence.
Codere, which is now controlled by shareholders, has embraced Red Bench, an initiative designed to support charities that combat gender violence. Working under a slogan of “violence is never love,” the program will increase internal and external awareness. It will also promote initiatives to reduce gender violence and foster a culture of gender equality.
According to Codere’s announcement, bouquets of roses will be placed on each bench. A poem of support and awareness will be read to encourage victims to act. In addition, the company will make sure the contacts of local aid institutions to prevent gender abuse are readily available.
Codere’s program launch was designed to coincide with November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Equality for All Genders
The company’s Corporate Director of Human Resources, Álvaro de Ansorena, explains in a statement, “At Codere, we are firmly committed to defending a culture of diversity and equality among our employees. Not surprisingly, our company is made up of a very diverse staff, made up of people of more than 43 different nationalities. This diversity is part of the company’s values.”
The new programs, part of Codere’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) framework, will be found in all of the countries where it is active. This currently encompasses its home country of Spain, as well as Argentina, Colombia, Italy, Mexico, Panama and Uruguay.
Going forward, a red bench will be installed in company rooms and offices. This is designed to serve as a symbol and reminder of the initiative and to create a space where individuals can report sexist violence. It will also serve as a reminder to promote a culture of equality and respect for all genders.
40 per cent of our 11,000 employees are women, so supporting actions of equality, diversity and respect is essential for the organization,” de Ansorena stated.
Life Imitates Art
The initiative, which began in 2017, is reportedly based on artwork created by Tina Magenta, an Italian activist. That piece of art, a red bench, was designed to commemorate the first public protest against femicide. The initiative also reportedly gets its inspiration from the red shoe display from Mexican artist Elina Chauvet. This latter display was created to memorialize the victims of domestic abuse.
Adds Codere CSR head Jorge Barreras, “The company’s new corporate social responsibility framework is a perfect platform to channel and bring this social problem closer to collaborators and clients, as a company committed to the environments in which it develops their activity, and respect for gender equality and diversity.”
According to United Nations arm UN Women, an estimated 736 million women worldwide have been victims of intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence or both. This figure covers all women 15 years and older, but does not include sexual harassment. Women who have been subject to violence have higher rates of depression, anxiety disorders and unplanned pregnancies.
The figures have increased during COVID-19 lockdowns. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread, calls to helplines increased fivefold in certain countries. The group reports that women are now more vulnerable to domestic violence around the globe due to restrictions on movement, economic insecurity and social isolation.
52 countries had incorporated prevention and responses to violence against girls and women into COVID-19 response plans by September 2020. 121 countries had also adopted measures to strengthen services to women who had been victims of violence during the global crisis.
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