Deputy President David Mabuza has called on men to admit that they have a problem as cases of abuse against women, children and the elderly are escalating.
Mabuza was addressing the National Men’s Summit in Ballito north of Durban.
South Africa is ranked among those countries with high incidents of rapes and murders of women and children children.
About 120 rape cases are reported daily.
The gender-based violence directed at women and children has become a national crisis.
According Deputy President David Mabuza one in five women in South Africa is abused by her partner.
“In the last year alone we have lost more than 2000 women’s lives in the hands of men. These are lives that leaves mother-less children, deaths that rob families their daughters. In the last three years alone 124 thousand cases of rape have been reported 41 percent of these cases were against children. We have close to 120 thousand cases that are reported on daily basis South African men assault women. One in five women experience physical violence from an intimate partner.”
Mabuza says men must admit that they have a problem and must change their mind set. According to the Deputy President, government alone will not be able to root out gender-based violence unless every man stands up and fights this scourge.
“Now if you love a woman, if you are in a relationship with a woman, I don’t know why that love turn into hate and turn into killing. Love and hate are two separate things but in our case you can turn and kill the person you say you love something wrong with us as men.
“We have witness a body of a 22 year woman killed by her own boyfriend, is that love? Do you love that person? No we have witness a life of a three year old raped by a forty year old men twice before he killed her. Is this one a behaviour of a father? No men we must change”, Mabuza says.
UNAIDS coordinator in South Africa, Dr. Mbulawa Mugabe, says the country will not meet its 2022 goals in the fight against HIV/AIDS unless it deals with patriarchy and gender-based violence.
“Gender inequalities and harmful norms are powerful drivers of HIV epidemic and that this country will never reach its national targets in the national strategic plan nor reach its target unless we deal with this scourge. A new data will clearly show, this is the data from the HSRC will clearly show that men and boys remain a dark spot in our response holding back progress.”
Meanwhile, men who attended the summit took a pledge to fight gender-based violence in communities where they live.