A society where both genders stand for no violence against women and children

2015-11-30 08:23

Last month I watched a YouTube video of a 2014 SABC News interview of Sonke Gender Justice. An organisation I feel is one of the best in South Africa to help deal with men's issues, as I have observed that to address issues affecting women, both parties (genders) need to be taken into consideration, as this is Sonke Gender Justice's approach. I listened to the interview attentively with the aim of finding out the reasons as to what causes such violent behaviour towards women. Clinical psychologist Mthetho Tshemese and Mbuyiseni Botha from Sonke Gender Justice a non-partisan, non-profit organisation, established in 2006 which works to create the change necessary for men, women, young people and children to enjoy equitable, healthy and happy relationships that contribute to the development of just and democratic societies. Aiming to achieve gender equality, prevent gender-based violence and reduce the spread of HIV and the impact of AIDS. Mbuyiseni Botha who is the organisation’s Media and Government Liaison was speaking about the anger of men in society and mentioned  that one of the reasons men are violent is because men relate to women as an extension of their property. Tshemese further explained and stated that men don't know how to deal with their emotions and that their violent upbringing is also another factor.

We must remember that we live in a patriarchal (male dominated) society and therefore the system of patriarchy then overlaps to relationships whether it be a sexual relationship, father child relationship, family unit where no one has a say but the head of the house and marriage relationship. Some men have chosen to use this dominance as a form of oppression as well as force their dominance in the form of violence. Now this in turn affects both parties, including children. Hence we need more male driven organisations, campaigns and dialogues where men and women issues are addressed to reinforce not only non-violence against women and children but bring about change that enables better communication and respect between the two genders.

I was touched by another video I watched on YouTube, a short South African documentary, a journey of transformation of a man who is part of MenCare, a global fatherhood campaign active in more than 35 countries on five continents. Which aims to promote men’s involvement as equitable, non violent fathers and caregivers in order to achieve family well-being, gender equality, and better health for mothers, fathers, and children. Through his participation in this campaign his life has been transformed to an extent that his life and relationship with the mother of his child as a present but loving father will be of positive influence to the community, especially those in search of male figure role model.  We need such programs that will teach the younger generation how a woman and a relationship with your child needs to be. I am also proud to bring to your attention that the president of our country launched the 16 Days of Activism campaign in Mahikeng, North West on the start of the annual 16 Days of Activism, the 25th of November, in support of the campaign.

Thank you to all the males of this country who are contributing towards a non-violent society where safety and security are a priority for the women and children of this country. I salute the likes of your Brothers for Life, Sonke Gender Justice, Men Care and many other organisations promoting a healthy functioning of both genders.

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