Deputy President Paul Mashatile says that Gender-Based Violence and femicide have reached a tipping point in the country.
He says that President Cyril Ramaphosa has proposed a domestic violence bill, to curb the scourge of violence against women and children.
The Deputy President led the official launch of Takuwani Ri-ime Programme of Action at Ha-Masia outside Malamulele, Limpopo, on Sunday. This was the third National Men’s Parliament held at the local multi-purpose centre.
The launch coincides with International Men’s Day celebrated annually across the world. The program is aimed at curbing Gender-Based Violence and encouraging men to come up with socio-economic solutions in their communities.
Mashatile says men have an important role to play in society.
“The sitting of this sectoral men’s parliament today is a vital step in our ongoing commitment to fostering positive masculinity in our society. Takuwani Ri-ime is a call for us as men to stand united, in responding to the multiple gendered challenges that exist in our society. This national call is aligned with the global calls to end violence against women and girls, as championed by the African Union and the United Nations.”
The Traditional Men’s Parliament will provide a platform to develop awareness programmes dedicated to provide guidance to many issues that men face, which includes parental alienation, abuse, homelessness, suicide, and violence against women and children #MenChampioningChange pic.twitter.com/IFKcCH3oyK
— Paul Mashatile🇿🇦 (@PMashatile) November 19, 2023
Mashatile who is also the chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council, says he is concerned about HIV prevalence among men between the ages of 35 and 59 in Limpopo.
“In anticipation of World Aids Day, we must use this opportunity to highlight the challenges we have with men within the context of our HIV response. HIV prevalence in Limpopo is the highest in men between the ages of 35 and 59. Across the province, new infections are the highest in men between the ages of 20 and 44. Allow me to say that there is absolutely no need for this, given the extensive HIV education and treatment that the government has provided over the past 19 years.”
Meanwhile, traditional leaders from various organisations say that they will support the program, in order to curb the scourge of GBV.
Thovhele Tshedza Netshimbupfe and Kgoshi Mathupa Mokoena say GBV is preventable.
“Men should not be proud of what is happening in South Africa currently. South Africa is viewed as a capital city for violence. We would like to thank all men who stand up and become part and amongst those who protect women and children. GBV is preventable, men have decided to come here to stand up. Can you also go and review and look at those structures that used to be in the police stations that were solely responsible for dealing with GBV, can we resuscitate those structures? Secondly, can you empower traditional leadership that we have this kind of engagement, not once a year, but all the time when we’re at our Kgoro.”
Community members are also encouraging men across the country to join the program and the men’s parliament, to voice their concerns.
“This was giving awareness to men of our our country in South Africa so that they can be aware as the men of Africa that they must also adhere to the, the composition… well, I think this program is going to create more ways of men speaking out on the challenges that they’re facing on their daily lives… This particular program is very important because it focuses on men. There are a lot of challenges that we, as men, must start from, with our children and grandchildren.”
Mashatile says that Gender-Based Violence and femicide have reached a tipping point in the country. He says that President Cyril Ramaphosa has proposed a domestic violence bill, to curb the scourge of violence against women and children.