For the 3rd year in a row, SMSP took part in the United Nations campaign to eradicate violence against women and girls in New Caledonia and around the world, which will be running from 25th of November to 10th of December. Two significant dates: 25th of November is World Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls, and 10th of December is World Human Rights Day.
This campaign has been running for 30 years, during which, for 16 days, all citizens, institutions, companies and civil society organizations are mobilized. The aim of this campaign is to inform, educate and raise awareness of this major step towards a world that is increasingly respectful of all human beings.
Violence against women and girls has several forms
Physical, sexual or verbal violence. In New Caledonia, 2021 figures show that 8,300 women are victims of physical or sexual violence. The New Caledonia Economic, Social and Environmental Committee has carried out a survey in 2017, which has released dramatic figures: 1 woman out 4 women has experienced sexual or physical violence, 1 out 8 women has been subjected to one or more sexual assaults before the age of 15, and the rate of physical or sexual violence is 7 times higher in New Caledonia than in Metropolitan France.
But violence is also the one experienced and endured on a daily basis in the persistent inequalities, particularly in the world of employment.
For example, while the ISEE (Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies) just published a report on rising prices and wages in New Caledonia on November 2, the UN’s Orange the World campaign is sadly echoed in the figures shared by ISEE demonstrate that in New Caledonia, the pay gap between men and women in the private sector is 13.3% to the detriment of women, while in the public sector the gap would stabilize at around 14.2% and 14.6% by 2022.
With 30% women in the workforce of two subsidiaries, Koniambo Nickel (KNS) and Nickel Mining Company (NMC), as well as the presence of many women in its Cotransmine subsidiary’s workforce and SNNC, its two other sister’s companies, SMSP Group has made the Defense of women’s rights and the fight to eliminate violence against women and girls one of its values and engagement.
So, in 2023, SMSP Group has decided to mark the event with an objective: to bring people together to give a voice. In particular, to give a voice to the 76% of women who do not report domestic violence, and to give visibility to a cause that is all too often trivialized and underestimated.
With this objective in mind, the Group and its subsidiaries have joined forces to organize a Flash Mob on Place de la Marne (Place des Cocotiers) in Nouméa on Friday 24th of November 2023, between 11am and 12pm. The event was made possible thanks to the invaluable help of the partners who joined SMSP Group in the action: Mobil IPC, the New Caledonia Guardianship Management Organization (AGTNC), the Southern Province Women’s Rights and Equality Information Centre (CIDFE) and Saint Joseph de Cluny High School.
The ambitious nature of the cause led to mobilize the Nickel Mining Company sites in Poya and Kouaoua, where employees performed the choreography on their respective sites despite operational constraints. A fine example of mobilization and commitment.
The Choreographer, Nathalie Muller, was called in and accompanied the group of performers with dynamism and enthusiasm throughout the preparation, including a general rehearsal held on the Place de la Marne on 21st of November. She designed a choreography that was accessible to all non-professional dancers, and symbolic through three songs chosen on purpose: Rachel Patten-Fight song, Pink-Try and Shania Twain-I feel like a woman.
In addition, the artist Kuby Kolor was requested beforehand to create and paint a banner for SMSP Group, which was unveiled on the big day at the end of the choreography performance and which represents the determination of all women to free themselves and break down all the obstacles and walls that stand in their ways and paths during their lives.
On Friday 24th of November, all the participants from the SMSP Group, including its subsidiaries and partners gathered on the Place of La Marne (Place des Cocotiers which is the well-known main public place in Noumea City Center) to share with the public present the result of just under a month of practice and rehearsals.
The 41 dancers performed the 5-minute choreography in the great sunshine, with smiles on their faces and a deep conviction of the importance of sharing, showing and demonstrating the importance of getting involved.
They were also able to count and to depend on all the volunteers from the Group and its partners to provide the microphone, security for the presence of a drone, take photos and look after personal belongings in the SMSP Group’s own tent.
Following the performance, all the participants enjoyed refreshments and shared a warm and human moment before returning to their respective workstations.
The CIDFE (Women’s Rights and Equality Information Centre) government organization which aims to promote equal opportunities for men and women, also set up a tent on the Flash Mob site, to put on its TIKI event for the occasion. This involved providing a photo og general public including dancing performers, via its service provider device TIKI photo, to take selfies with the distress code, i.e. the black dot drawn on the palm of the hand. This dot was put on all the participants at the dance and can be seen on the related photos and videos of the event.
SMSP Group encourages the general public present including its employees to find out about all information about actions that will be carried out over the 16 days by institutions, civil society organizations as well as its own Subsidiary companies, such as Koniambo Nickel, NMC and Cotransmine.
SMSP Group wishes to warmly thank its subsidiaries, NMC, SNNC, Cotransmine and KNS for their commitment to this event on 24th November. SNNC, which is SMSP Group’s Korean subsidiary, donated the orange t-shirts worn during the choreography on this special occasion.
Our warm thanks and appreciation also go to our partners staff and participants of Mobil IPC, AGTNC, CIDFE and Saint Joseph de Cluny High School.
It should be noted that for the purposes of the choreography performance, the rehearsals were held in the SMSP Group’s Building’s Car Park shared with two of its partners. Rehearsals were naturally joined by employees from the subsidiaries. Additional moments of sharing and cohesion that should always be fully appreciated.
Finally, we wish to share our deepest and sincere thanks the Nouméa Town Hall and its services, the High Commission of the Republic in New Caledonia, the Municipal and National Police who gave us the necessary authorizations and enabled us to hold the event on D-day in complete safety.
Source ISEE, enquête CVS 2021
Source CESE, enquête 2017
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