Township men’s organisations have taken to the streets, calling for men to stop hurting and killing women and children.
Prompted by rampant gender-based violence in the country, hundreds of men in a 25-car convoy drove through Langa, Bonteheuwel, Gugulethu and Philippi before ending at Lookout Hill in Khayelitsha on Saturday July 4.
Along the way, they stopped and spoke to men and distributed pamphlets with contact details for organisations they could turn to for help instead of taking out their frustrations and anger on women and children.
Men from four social clubs, Kalwa VW Golf Club, EzaseKasi, Beema Yethu and Qina Darkie, took part in the awareness drive against gender-based violence, dubbed the StopGBV convoy.
Organiser Sivuyile Skeyi said there was a great need to create public awareness about the violence women and children routinely faced.
“As killings and rapes are on the rise everywhere, we could not sit and fold arms. These are our sisters, mothers and close relatives,” he said.
The group also stopped at the home of teenager Amahle Quku who was killed in Phillippi last month (“Shock at teen’s murder”, Thursday June 25).
Qina Darkie’s Siyabulela Dlokweni said the solution to gender violence lay with men who needed to talk about their problems instead of bottling them up.
“Women are faced with two challenges right now. There is Covid-19 and us as men. Killings happen right in our face. With our march, we wanted it to be different because there have been talks and marches before. We decided to go men-to-men and provide much needed information to men.
“We believe that men bottle up issues like depression and stress that is why we gave them contact details of relevant organisations.”
He added: “Men need to speak out and create a culture of speaking.”
Human rights activist Funeka Soldaat said it was refreshing to see men taking a stand against gender violence.
“We just hope and pray all
the time men take a stand. It’s difficult to beat drums because men have declared war on women’s bodies.
“Just in Makhaza last week, a 75-year-old woman was shot dead in her home in front of eight-year-old twins, and the body of a woman was found at Monwabisi Beach. At the same time, I’ve seen in the news a man was stabbed when he tried to intervene in a domestic violence manner,” she said.
The social clubs have promised to continue lobbying for change.