As the 16 days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children draws to a close today, Thursday December 10, the ANC’s Harry Gwala branch in Ward 91 encouraged men not only to speak up against women abuse but be agents of change.
Different community stakeholders gathered in Site B and urged men to be loving fathers, partners and husbands to their families.
ANC ZTT co-ordinator, Khanyisa Ntileka, said the main aim of the event was to urge men to end the scourge of gender-based violence.
Ms Ntileka said they needed to understand that gender-based violence did not begin with a black eye or violence, but with how men view and speak to women in casual conversations.
Ms Ntileka believes that many campaigns against gender-based violence were directed at the wrong audience – the victims and survivors of gender based violence rather than the perpetrators.
She said they have seen campaigns talking to men who have anger issues and who mistreat and abuse women.
Ms Ntileka said it was time that they start having frank and open discussions with men as to why they were abusing women and children.
She said instead of having such events it would be effective to have workshops so that they could address the matter.
“We must not only talk about this issue but we should develop a clear programme of actions in playing our role in ending this. We must teach our children in the early years that gender based violence is not right,” she said.
“We must educate our communities and intensify these campaigns. We must never allow our women to be abused. We must take it upon ourselves to change the behaviour and character of men towards women.”
Chairperson of the Men’s Sector in the Dullah Omar region, Lonwabo Mqina, said they aimed to change the men’s behaviour when it came to how they treat women and children.
He said to be a man in Khayelitsha was something of a shame because of the actions of some, and he believed men were not doing enough to stop gender-based violence.
He said those men who described themselves as “good men” needed to acknowledge these exceptionally uncomfortable truths about other men who abused and killed women.
ANC member, Yanga Mjingwana, said it was shocking to see a number of young women being killed in the name of love in Khayelitsha alone.
He questioned what kind of love pushed you to hurt the person that you claimed to love, adding that if you loved someone, you treated it with the dignity and always ensured they were protected.