Social Development Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu is encouraging men and boys to champion the fight against gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF).
The department’s Men Championing Change Programme forms part of the Takuwani Riime Men’s Movement that was launched through the Men’s Parliament Programme of Action.
Takuwani Riime is a TshiVenda expression, meaning ‘let’s stand together’.
Following the Men’s Parliaments in 2018 and 2020, the programme was rolled out in 52 district municipalities across the country.
“We are now taking the programme to the deepest rural areas of the country, by partnering with the National House of Traditional Leaders.
“This is an ongoing programme which we hope to use as a tool to mobilise South African men and boys to become solutions to social challenges, such as GBVF,” says Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu.
The programme aims for men of stature, who are positive influences in the community, to mentor boys and advance gender equality.
Its main goal is to create an enabling environment in which men can have dialogues and inspire positive values relating to sex, gender and sexuality.
According to Dr Matome Kganakga from the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) Civil Society Forum, the organisation’s ‘men sector’ collaborates with the Department of Social Development on issues such as GBVF, AIDS and TB.
He says the programme aims to bring about a group of men and boys who are responsive to their health needs and are protective and productive in society.
“The programme promotes positive masculinity, which depicts men as protectors of society, particularly of women and children.”
It aims to inspire men to use their power to become agents of social change.
“The ultimate goal of the programme is to develop a strong front of men who educate other men and inspire positive change that subsequently results in socio-economic development; men’s health, including the prevention of new HIV infections; and [the reduction of] violence against women and children and violence in general,” he adds.
The Men’s Parliament Programme of Action coordinates the programme to reach men’s and boys’ formations across the country.
To find out more about the programme or to participate, call 081 802 9180 or go to www.takuwaniriime.org