Violence against women and children in South Africa continues to be at epidemic levels. It is horrific. It’s absolutely tragic. Yet, according to some research quoted by Rev. Bafana Khumalo from SANAC Men’s Sector, only 1 in 5 men are actually abusive. Keeping this in mind, it is imperative that the remaining 4 start to change the paradigm and the perception by ensuring that the one do not continue to define the collective. It is for this reason that SANAC and Brothers For Life are running a Men’s Rally on Saturday August 24th at Johannesburg Stadium from 9:00am to 15:00pm focused on men, while also open to women and children.
This is part of a wider campaign under the pledge NOT IN MY NAME (click to pledge), which included the SANAC Men’s Sector Dialogue Against Gender-Based Violence held earlier this year at Turbine Hall, attended by a variety of men, including Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe – who will also be attending the Rally.
The aims of the Rally are:
- Unite all South African men behind a pledge calling for all men to be actively at the forefront of curbing the spread of gender-based violence and to commit their support for women and children.
- Mobilise men to take up the challenge of testing regularly for HIV and other ailments, and to commit to protecting themselves and their loved ones from HIV infection.
- Mobilise men to take the lead in changing negative social norms perpetuated in the name of culture and religion
This is important. I’ve taken the pledge and hope that others will do the same as well as attend the Rally as a first step. There are bus pickup points around the city, details are available on the site HERE. The convergence point will be Charlton Terrace parking lot, Doornfontein, and we’ll walk to Johannesburg Stadium, where there will be a range of activities and entertainment from people like Sipho Hotstix Mabuse, Professor and DJ Sbu. There will also be testing stations and counselling services.
Brothers For Life was started in August 2009 in KwaMashu and targeting “males 30+ and sought out to address risks associated with multiple sexual partners, sex and alcohol, GBV, as well as promote HIV Counselling and Testing and male involvement in the Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission of HIV. In recent times, Brothers For Life has played an active role in promoting the uptake of Medical Male Circumcision.“