More male voices needed in GBV battle
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HATS off to Siya Kolisi and his wife Rachel for taking up the cause of gender-based violence (GBV), which, as he says, affects everyone (see page 6).
The horrific statistics are worth repeating: Unisa says that one in four women is subjected to domestic violence, and one dies at the hands of her intimate male partner every eight hours. That is three a day and nearly 1 100 a year.
Women march and protest against the issue every year, when it is a problem men must own and address. As Kolisi points out, much of GBV is rooted in outdated patriarchal attitudes, including that violence is a sign of love and care.
It is not clear from the book extract how the Kolisis intend tackling the issue, but, if I may, (and as I’ve stated previously) we need a national push like a voter registration drive ahead of elections, bringing all the state’s resources to bear in a concerted effort against the scourge. The public broadcaster would be a key element in ensuring that people are educated in their vernacular.
And traditional and religious leaders should play their part too, because tradition and misinterpretation of religion are the primary drivers of patriarchal attitudes.
Men must learn that women are not beholden to them for any reason.
Obviously this will not be a quick process, but it is a process that must be embarked on ‒ now.
And the more male voices speaking up, the better.
The Independent on Saturday