Stepping up cohesion to end violence against both genders
Pretoria - In a bid to intensify the fight against gender-based violence, the Department of Social Development and Takuwani Riime Men’s Movement will lead campaigns advocating for behavioural change among men, boys and women.
This was articulated by the stakeholders during the launch of the men’s parliament programme of action last week.
Deputy Minister of Social Development Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu also used the opportunity to raise awareness about the “increasing” abuse of men.
She cited that men’s socio-economic conditions such as unemployment was “a headache” for some women, who often reacted to the situation with a sense of frustration.
“So, as women we are also becoming violent in this whole gender-based-violence because we are frustrated by ourselves and by our peers,” she said.
Bogopane-Zulu repeated a statement she has made previously that women were “raising angry boys”.
“So, to the guys… you are making women raise angry boys by denying your own children,’’ she said.
She urged both men and women to take care of their children even after a relationship between them had ended. She encouraged absent fathers to be good examples to their children by forging relationships with them.
Bogopane-Zulu said the programme of action would also be rolled out in remote villages in the country, saying indunas in tribal councils have been trained on how to respond to societal problems such as gender-based violence and HIV/Aids in communities.
“We launch this programme with pride because the people we are going to are ready to lead,” she said.
Part of the roll-out will see the department convening a gathering of all the non-profit organisations that are funded to run men’s programmes.
The department will also launch the programme with the traditional councils, alongside the district boys assemblies.
Gauteng Social Development MEC Morakane Masupye said the programme must include young men because it was important for them to be guided from an early age on how women needed to be treated.
Deputy chairperson of the men’s sector Dr Matome Kganakga agreed, saying one of the mistakes made with programmes such as “taking a girl child to work” was to leave behind the boy child.
“We are seeing the results of that – very angry boys and very disempowered boys. We don’t want to repeat that mistake. We want to make sure we move together because we are living in the same house,” he said.
The programme of action was preceded by the launch of the provincial and district men’s parliaments in the first term of the national men’s parliament in 2018.
The second biennial national men’s parliament in 2020 declared this the term of the local and traditional men’s parliament with 226 local municipalities and 882 traditional councils expected to launch and sustain the men’s parliament’s sittings.
In August 2018, the Takuwani Riime men’s movement convened the national men’s summit and expo to address the role of men in response to social determinants of health with a special focus on gender-based violence and femicide and HIV prevention.
Takuwani Riime is supported by the national Parliament through the sectorial men’s parliaments, which aim to bring together developmental partners, government, business and civil society to strengthen co-ordination of the men’s civil society movement.