Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, has encouraged men and boys to be part of the solution to gender based violence (GBV).
He said this in his address to thousands of men who attended a Men’s Dialogue at Birchwood Hotel in Johannesburg, as part of the 16 Days of Activism campaign for no violence against women and children.
Makhura said power relations and finances also played a role in gender-based violence.
“Some of the hidden causes of violence against women by men is when a woman works and earns a lot than a man, and the man either does not work or used to work but is now retrenched or the man works but earns less. That affects relations amongst partners in families and often becomes that sense of men having lost “power”… that the woman is too powerful,” Makhura said.
The Premier encouraged all men and boys to become agents of transformation after the dialogue.
He raised a concern that there’s a tendency in the country to prioritise women when fighting violence and abuse, therefore leaving boys and men behind. That approach was not beneficial to the cause, he said.
“The big problem with these boys is that when they are left out and left behind, they will fill our prisons, they will be the ones doing robberies, they will be the ones killing people because they are just not making it in life. When we empower women, it does not mean we must forget men,” said the Premier.
Veteran actor and founder of AfriMan Rising Campaign, Sello Maake KaNcube, told the gathering that men who abuse women are capable of changing for the better.
“We should say to ourselves that change is possible and say to yourself that ‘I can change to something that I want to be’ and also begin to think of a man you want to be.”
He also said encouraged men to “mind your thoughts as they become your words. So everything is formed by words...a man’s character is formed by a collection of thoughts and the thoughts that you personally choose that this I will entertain,” the popular actor said.