iLembe hosts men’s summit

THE South African National Aids Council, together with various stakeholders, held a three-day men’s summit and expo at the eBandla Hotel in Ballito from Friday, August 24.

The purpose of the gathering was to bring together men from across the country to discuss championing change as a social behaviour and address the behaviour and traditional norms that put them and their partners at risk of HIV.

The summit, with the theme Men Championing Change,was officially opened by Deputy President of South Africa David Mabuza who said it is men’s duty and responsibility to protect women and children.

“Such gatherings are vital in this day and age as the rate of women and child murders are at the highest. We as men should change the way we do things and we must take collective responsibility as we are meant to defend our society,” said Mabuza.

Among the stakeholders at the event were iLembe District Municipality, traditional leaders, the Department of Social Development and various community leaders from around the country.

In welcoming guests, Mayor Sduduzo Gumede said: “Men have a big role to play in protecting their loved ones and must be found wanting when the issue of gender based violence comes into question. We need to be protectors of our women and children for that will make a better and safer society,” said Gumede.

The main objectives at the three day event included challenging beliefs held by man that contribute to contracting of HIV/Aids and gender based violence.

It also addressed stereotypes such as men are natural risk takers, they should have multiple partners and men can’t take no for an answer.