Pretoria – Defeating gender-based violence and femicide starts with teaching young boys to take accountability, just as little girls are expected to, Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture Nathi Mthethwa has said.
He said this was a crucial step in changing negative perceptions that continued to allow and help grow gender-based violence and femicide in communities. The minister was wrapping up Heritage Month commemorations.
Mthethwa said it was important for fathers to bring their boys into such conversations and instil the need to take responsibility for their actions.
“It starts in the home with simple things like house chores. If you instil in the boy child not to take responsibility to wash his socks, make his bed or do dishes, but rather to expect his sister to wash the cup he drank from, we are instilling something later in life we don’t understand.”
Mthethwa said the government was looking at strengthening the laws to ratify the mandatory sentences for gender-based violence to be moved to a life sentence, to serve as a deterrent.
He added that government should also look at the issue of bail for perpetrators as he said he understood the pain women went through at having to witness their aggressor on the streets, free, after they had been reported to the relevant authorities.
“We need to start right from the beginning because we love our rights, but Go Lekane (it’s enough). Men who attack women are nothing but cowards who prey on women because they are frustrated by other men and can’t take it out on them.”
Mthethwa said government also felt it was important to deal with how people with albinism were being discriminated against and attacked because of unfounded misconceptions.
“Anyone can have a child with albinism, and it is not just for particular people. We need to get rid of these myths and acknowledge that we are all one human race.”
Thato Mokoena said for him as a person with albinism, he often found that they did not have access or being seen enough within the media space.
“The more people are exposed to and used to seeing people with albinism and recognising their skills and talents first, that will be education enough and remove them from the shell they have been boxed into.”