While the buzz about gender-based violence (GBV) may have died down since the nation-wide protests that took place last month, Engedi Christian Church members in conjunction with African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) are still trying to raise awareness of the plight of women.During the headlining protests, the City of Cape Town began to shift their focus from saving women from GBV to educating men on how to treat women. The departments of social development and early childhood development rolled out their Men’s Programme to all areas of the city last month. “The Men’s Programme aims to change behaviour by unpacking the complexities that characterise the epidemic that is gender-based violence. “Men must be included in the interventions within communities,” said the Mayco member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien, in statement.To this end, members of the church and the ACDP marched at the corner of Prince George Drive and Military Road on Saturday 28 September, displaying signs with the messages: “stop rape” and “men, stand up!” to continue in the fight against GBV.Dr Malcom Jacobs, provincial chairman for the party, explained: “We wanted to express our disgust for how women are being treated – not that we are against men, but we want to urge men to respect and help the women.”He said their demonstrations were not only to highlight the violence, but also to encourage men to take a stand against other men who commit these acts.“Every community can have a dynamic community when a man can just support his woman and not to look at them as sexual objects. They haven’t been given a guideline on what the role of a woman is,” he said.He said in the down-trodden communities of Steenberg, Lavender Hill, Seawinds and surrounds, where domestic violence is so common, this is where emphasis should be placed on educating men especially. “We need to drive more visibility programmes. We need to get more community involvement where we can call the men together to make them understand how important they are. We must drive something for the men too.”“We’ve got men-based group-support groups where we do spiritual meetings and we do support in terms of their roles as men. There are more men that came forward to be part of our groups,” said Jacobs.The programmes include counselling, mentorship and upliftment projects where the men work together to paint schools and build homes for the elderly, among other things. Jacobs said the change that is needed will come as a result of circumstances. “It’s not that they want to act like that. They’ve been damaged – damaged from when they were boys.”V For more info on the men’s programmes, contact Joey on 083 856 6312.