Residents show disdain against gender violence

In a show of force and determination to end violence against women and children, scores of men and women from Khayelitsha took to the streets on Monday as part of the MenUnited March to denounce the scourge.

Singing and brandishing placards condemning the abuse, the group was joined by Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo and her Community safety counterpart, Dan Plato.

The march, which seek to raise awareness around the importance of the role men should play to curb gender based violence, had the blessings and support of various faith-based organisations, as well as non-governmental organisations.

John Ngxowa, a Mfuleni resident and deputy chairman of the Western Cape Inyangi Forum, described the march as “very important”, especially for men he labelled as “perpetrators of violence against women and children”.

“The abuse of women and children must stop because we are abusing our future leaders and women who give us babies,” said Ngxowa

He added that such gatherings highlighted the plight of women and children. He said they needed to be conducted all the time, not only during Women’s Month.

Honey Morara, 29, also described the march as very important for Khayelitsha.

“In Khayelitsha, women of all ages are raped all the time, and sometimes by people known to them, people who are supposed to protect them.”

As a result, she said it was hard to trust men. She said most parents were reluctant to allow men to send their children to the shops.

Mbombo said the provincial government called on everyone to act against the scourge of violence and abuse of women and children.

She said through the march they wanted to empower men to end all forms of violence against women by educating them and the community.

“As government, we need to acknowledge the driving forces behind these senseless acts of violence, poverty, gender inequality, social norms and substance abuse,” said Mbombo.

Plato raised the importance of a dialogue on gender based violence, particularly in areas like Khayelitsha, even though it happened everywhere.

He said they planned to get the message across and talk to Khayelitsha people.

Plato said Women’s Month must not come and go it must be every day.

He added that the justice system must deal accordingly with the perpetrators of this violence.