Mthembu challenges men to be part of GBV solution

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu says men have the collective responsibility to rise up and deal with violence against women.

“We have our work cut out as men to stop this violation of women’s rights in our country. All of us must bring an end to the abuse and rape of women. We need a change in the manner men relate to and look at women,” said Mthembu in a post Cabinet briefing on Thursday.

In a Joint Sitting of Parliament held in Cape Town on Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa tabled emergency measures to combat gender-based violence (GBV) and ensure enhancement of the implementation of the outcomes of the 2018 Presidential summit of gender-based violence and femicide.

Cabinet on Thursday affirmed its support for the emergency plan outlined by the President, aimed at arresting the tide of GBV.  The measures announced by the President will be implemented in the next six months. They include urgent legislative measures to curb GBV; training of police, prosecutors and magistrates/judges, who deal with GBV cases; strengthening of the Judicial system; inclusion of GBV in the school curriculum, and the establishment of more Thuthuzela support centres for survivors of GBV.

The intervention also includes a special focus on men as the perpetrators of rape, abuse and killing of women and girls.

These emergency measures will be undertaken by the proposed Gender-Based Steering Committee, which will be located in the Presidency, comprising government and NGOs structures to oversee implementation.

Mthembu urged men to introspect when it comes to GBV.

“Men should look themselves in the mirror and say ‘not in our name’. Even the men’s organisations in the country should start looking into this issue and ask what do we do to change these actions of men abusing and killing women,” an emotional Mthembu said.

He called on all communities to continue playing their part in mentoring and nurturing boy children to have empathy and respect women and girls. –