By Malikhanye Mankayi
Singamandoda Men Empowerment Spaces, a men’s organisation whose mandate includes fighting the scourge of gender-based violence, hosted a workshop on Tuesday, 14 November, with the aim of recreating a platform for men to reclaim their space – with families communicating and denouncing patriarchy, toxic masculinity and social ills. Different stakeholders and departments, such as Border Rural Committee, Kagisano, Makana Rape Survivors Support Group were invited to contribute.
Jongi Hoza, the head of the Secretariat of the Eastern Cape Men’s Movement and the programme manager of Empilisweni HIV/Aids Care Centre, opened a platform for all those present to share their contributions.
The second programme differed from the first one – the participants were given more time to engage, and the task was to form four groups and bring solutions based on questions given to each group. Most groups participated in the activity and shared feedback on possible solutions to different social ills.
Mvuseleli Hashe spoke as a guest from Community Correctional Services, “Our normal threshold is 350-plus, minus only less than ten women who have criminal cases. The rest of the people are male, which highlights that most cases are committed by males, so the most challenge is faced by men,” said Hashe.
He added: “The challenging part is when we release these people after we corrected them. But the community keeps reminding them about what led them to jail. Therefore, ex-prisoners don’t feel welcome by society, and they decide to do something that will make them return to prison. To the community, I would like to request that we work together to assist ex-prisoners to regain their identity because others are really hoping to change,” said Hashe.
Siyamthanda Dyantyi, an anti-GBV activist, said: “Today we are speaking about equality for all genders. I think we need to start from the roots – the legal system in South Africa; the law plays a big role in the current matter we are facing. South African law promotes males, so when a community interprets everything, it is easy for men to get away from anything because the law favours them. I also think we must be really based on our own so that we are able to fix the broken families. Therefore, I think we need much support from different departments,” said Dyantyi.