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‘Male attitudes towards women needs to change’

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Parents need to look at what kind of examples they are setting for their children and to groom young men and boys to have the power to be positive role models and exemplify a masculinity that is non-violent. That was the strong view of JP Smith, Mayoral committee member for Safety in the City of Cape Town, as he addressed protestors at Wednesday’s Unsilence Violence march in Athlone.

“We need to be good role-models for the boys that are growing up in our household as the next generation will think it’s okay to treat a woman in a disrespectful way. If you are in a shop seeing a man shouting at a woman, tell him that’s not how you speak to a woman. If he says that it’s none of our business tell him that it’s all of our business. We should all be speaking about it together,” he said.

Gepostet von Muslim Judicial Council – SA am Mittwoch, 29. November 2017

The City of Cape Town is aiming to address societal roles of men in a masculinity program as part of the 16 Days of Activism. This program will train men on how to speak to other men and women.

“We are employing 800 women as part of the women for change program, we will be teaching them about their rights, how to protect other women and economic independence,” he explained.

Over the next six months, the Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department will facilitate training for a group of 50 men from Delft and surrounds. They are the first participants in the Men and Masculinity project.

This is the second gender-specific programme to be launched by the Department – the other being the Women for Change programme.

The Men and Masculinity initiative will explore a number of social aspects linked to violence against women and children, including gender relations as shaped by culture, tradition and religion; substance abuse; HIV/Aids; parenting; and cultivating positive role models.

The project has three phases: training, post-training support, and the formation of men’s groups that will meet once a week and also recruit and train more participants into the future.

“You can’t expect behavioural change without unpacking the complexities that characterise the epidemic that is gender-based violence. The Men and Masculinity project aims to do just that, by holding up a mirror to men and helping them assess and adjust their view of themselves, the world and their role in it.”

Members of the faith community, women and child abuse activists, community members from all ages marched silently from Athlone Stadium to Klipfontein Road, to express their condemnation against women and child abuse.

The protest, which was arranged by the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, IHATA Shelter for Abused Women and Children, Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children, and Islamic Relief South Africa and a few other NGO’s came out in solidarity with the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence in our community.

“Working at Wynberg Court has exposed me to women and child abuse daily, as a man and a father to a two year old girl; I am here today to ask every man to change. I never want my daughter or anyone else’s child to ever experience what we have been seeing in the media,
said one protestor, Keenan Petersen.

Zulaiga Salie a 85-years-old woman, who was the eldest person attending the march, gave this powerful message.

“We are marching here today for our children, for our ladies and girls who are raped and kidnapped, and found weeks later, murdered.”

An emotional 83-year-old Latiefa Mortlock from Manenberg, asked the community to stop the killing of children.

“Stand up and stop killing innocent children, stop the drug abuse. Mothers can’t handle seeing their children being murdered and shot. We cannot handle women being abused anymore.”

Protesters marching down Klipfontein road, received support by motorists, including a Golden Arrow bus who hooted as they drove along.

The peaceful, yet windy protest had been supported by two learners from Habiba Primary School in Rylands.

“All the men must stop abusing and killing women and children, we want to be free,” said Shahima and Amarah Gabriels. VOC


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