By Libuseng Nyaka
QWAQWA- Founder of Youth In Action organisation based in QwaQwa, Mandla Mthembu says a case of a -14-year old who was gang raped by seven men in Monontsha village provoked them to form a project aimed at addressing gender based violence with the focus of finding a solution.
Mthembu said this during an interview with The Guard at an event held on September 23 at Cultural house.
He said a solution can be found once a proper diagnosis has been made.
According to Mthembu the gender based which has been an on-going problem has been fuelled by Covid-19 pandemic.
“Many people have lost their jobs and they took their frustration out onto women and children . Sometimes it could be because they no longer feel respected. But some of them have just decided to be abusive.” Mthembu said.
He also regretted that most men do not attend churches, a place where they could be rehabilitated and repent from the bad acts.
“we want to invite law makers knowing that they are the ones who come up with these policies that now impact negatively on women and children.”
Gender based violence has become another pandemic while still country is battling with Covid-19 virus, but that too can be eradicated through targeting young men and boys in campaigns, we wouldn’t have victims if there were no perpetrators, says Julius Nthoba from PM Skill house.
He said boys need to be groomed while still young and be taught to respect women.
Nthoba was a facilitator of a campaign against gender based violence organised by Youth In Action, a non-governmental youth organisation based in QwaQwa.
“Gender is a very sensitive issue but debates and robust discussion is needed to identify possible solutions.”
Nthoba said gender based violence comes in many forms that even the victims are not aware when they are being abused therefore it very fatal that people are equipped with enough information that will enable them identify early signs of abuse so that they can react appropriately.
He said abusers have strategies that they use such as putting a blame on the victims.
“An excuse from abuser, such as you provoked me by the way you were speaking to me or the way you have dressed. They have a way of minimising the problem.” Said Nthoba
He also suggested that more focus should be on young boys and groom them into good men.
“It is very important for men to bring boy child closer to them. Most children are more open to their mother. We must teach our boys the importance of respect for women”
Echoeing Nthoba‘s sentiments Kedibone Motatudi a staff member at Youth in Action organisation highlighted the importance of access to information.
“Information is power. When you know what is gender based violence , who are perpetrators and one will be in a better position to act accordingly. Gender based violence is everybody‘s fight, we must not look away when it happens. We want solutions, we do not want more problems. During our door to door campaign in our community, we discovered many problems including gender based violence. We are struggling to find a proper solution that we can implement to assist. So we are gathered here today with stakeholders to discuss issues and find the way to solve this problem. We have enough information about the degree of the problem now we want a solution.” Kedibone concluded