Boys’ Assembly aimed at tackling gender imbalances underway in Johannesburg

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Social Development Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu says it is important to allow young boys to engage in the discussions around gender imbalances in the country. She was addressing a packed auditorium in Benoni, east of Johannesburg.

Bogopane-Zulu’s department is hosting the first Boys’ Assembly in an attempt to curb gender-based violence in the country.

“What is the contribution of boys in making South Africa a better place? We want to leave this country in the hands of men that won’t beat their wives, of men that won’t spread HIV, of men that won’t be addicted to drugs, of men that will take care of their children.”

Meanwhile, a 19-year-old Mpumalanga boy attending the assembly says he has been using nyaope and Kat, two potent drugs known to lead to psychosis, panic attacks and depression that may lead to suicide.

He says he has been smoking for more than three years.

“The first time I smoked Kat was after I had gotten too drunk. We were drinking. I smoked Kat and I got better. With nyaope, I was with my friends and we were smoking marijuana. I am 19. I started in 2014 when I was 14.”