It is the responsibility of every man to protect women and children and to take a stand against gender-based violence (GBV).
This was the message conveyed at JL Zwane church in Gugulethu when the Gugulethu Development Forum (GDF) held an informative dialogue about gender-based violence and human trafficking, on Thursday October 29.
A clean-up of the area was held before the three-hour information session to encourage the residents to look after their community and be proud of their environment.
GDF secretary, Vincent Domingo, said very little was known about human trafficking, particularly in black townships and that their discussion focused on empowering those present with an understanding of how to keep their children safe.
He added that it was high time that the residents stood up together to reclaim their streets so that they could raise their children in a safe environment.
“We have taken a resolution that we will establish a helpdesk within the forum which would deal with issues of gender-based violence and would be connected to various organisations and experts,” he said.
“The desk should not be launched later than December but when we launch it, we must have a clear strategic plan of action.
“Government recently adopted a strategic document which seeks to deal with GBV issues and we must align this desk with that document.
Human trafficking is one of the third largest criminal activities.
“There is different types of human trafficking and this takes places in the poorest communities and that means our communities,” he said.
CEO of construction company Boon Africa, Muhammadh Smiayo Amod, said gender-based violence was difficult to deal with, but that communities that worked together were stronger and less likely to tolerate criminal activity.
Representative of the religious sector in Gugulethu, Pastor Nokwanda Mkongi-Mkwela, said they could not keep quiet about gender-based violence and should use the pulpit as a platform from which to address such issues.