Forum launched for men

2017-07-12 06:02
Several delegates at the launch of the recently established Men’s Forum.Photo: Supplied

Several delegates at the launch of the recently established Men’s Forum.Photo: Supplied

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Men have the responsibility to look after and take care of their loved ones and to provide a steady centre of support, love and positive morals in their families.

This was the message of Pauline Williams, the MEC of the Northern Cape’s Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison, during the launch of the departmental Men’s Forum on Friday (07/07) in Kimberley.

The launch was done with the help of the MEC for Social Development, Gift van Staden.

“Our men must step up to keep us safe and must become involved in matters of positive leadership and the development of of development and direction. Our men must provide us with steady religious learning and be a positive example that personifies the strength and the love of God,” Williams said during the event at the West End Club.

The recent spate of brutal attacks on women, children and other vulnerable groups prompted the provincial government to address issues concerning violence and abuse in a co-ordinated and systematic manner.

“At work, men and women are employed by virtue of their capacity to perform a specific function,” Williams added.

“We have measures of employment equity and a realisation that we need to establish a workforce that is more representative of our society.”

The forum is expected to mobilise support for bringing about structural changes in the institutions of society, including in the socio-cultural, economic and political arenas.

Williams stressed the need to work with men to change the condition of women’s lives and use the idea of “male responsibility” through encouraging their involvement in achieving change.

According to Williams, men’s power over women and children is still visible in society.

“Social transformation can only successfully occur when we have an approach that focuses on the different spheres of our lives, including your family, community, religious and work life.

“For example, men hold assumptions about women in certain jobs. What this does, is to create organisations that develop in specific ways.”

Singling out her own department, she scrutinised an orga- nisation with a disproportio-nately low number of women in managerial positions.

“We need to attend to it. We need to find out why our organisation has developed this way. If we find barriers and glass ceilings, we need to actively remove it so that we can advance to an organisation that embraces change and promote an environment that empowers and propels women into their rightful place of authority.”

One of the key functions of the Men’s Forum is to find innovative approaches to critical elements for institutional change required to promote the interests of women.

There is a need for gender balance in decision making, support for gender equity from top management levels and the training for key actors in all areas.

The MEC urged senior ma- nagers to actively take part and support the Men’s Forum and to set up examples and standards of good practice.

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