Gauteng Premier David Makhura says some men abuse women in the name of culture. The Premier has been speaking at the Men’s Dialogue in Boksburg on the Gauteng’s East Rand.

The dialogue is part of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.

According to the South African National AIDS Council, eight women and three children are murdered everyday in the country. This was revealed at the Men’s dialogue where scores have been engaged in discussion aimed at finding ways of stopping gender-based violence (GBV).

Makhura has appealed to men not to abuse women in the name of culture.

“We must confront the scourge of gender-based violence in all its manifestations. There are many justifications around this. Some of the people do things in the name of culture. That’s toxic masculinity. Men are doing things basically to their benefit and then say ‘but it’s in our culture to do that.’ Empowering women do not justify abuse against them.”

Makhura says it’s important for men to stand up against gender-based violence and be part of the solution. He urges all sectors of society to create platforms to fight the scourge.

“We have to understand that for many decades women were left out. We must do something to propel them to move forward, but we can’t do that in a way that leaves men behind because that’s what becomes the key problem when these men are left out; they become the problem of the society.

Nomfundo Mogapi from the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation says the scourge of GBV has reached crisis levels in the country.

“The more we are investing in these campaigns, the higher the sexual violence against women. On our study as the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, with the study that has been produced in 2017, we have said that gender-based violence has reached a crisis state. I hope as men, when you discuss this issue, you will look at the paradox that has created the juncture between the investment and the outcomes.”

These men who were part of the dialogue say they appreciate the opportunity to learn about GBV.

“I believe it is important to have conferences like these where we talk and teach other about GBV so that we hear the impact and the stories that are being shared.”