SHE-HIVE has organised a series of dialogues aimed at empowering women by educating men and youth about the ills of Gender Based Violence (GBV) during Women’s Month.
Women’s Month is celebrated in August as a tribute to the more than 20 000 South African women who marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 9 August 1956 protesting against the extension of pass laws to women in that country.
She-Hive is an association which provides survivors of GBV with psychosocial support and legal advice. The association also engages people who have experienced, or are still undergoing abuse to speak out. It also disseminates information, educates people and helps them share experiences in order to improve the lives of domestic violence survivors.
In addition, the association also campaigns for behavioural change in communities, especially in families, with a view to eliminating further cases of domestic violence.
She-Hive Association Executive Director and Co-Founder, Mant’sala Ramakhula, yesterday told the Sunday Express that they would hold formal dialogues in Ha Ramorakane and neighbouring villages in Mafeteng to promote women’s empowerment by conscientising men and youths to appreciate their importance during Women’s Month.
“We want to educate them about the value of women in families and societies so we will also call for the prevention of GBV as it destroys the communities and families leaving women in fear,” Ms Ramakhula said.
Ms Ramakhula said: “As She-Hive we realised that we have reached a point where women are empowered one way or the other but we have a tendency of feeling like we need men to be complete.
“This is not supposed to happen so we have to make men value us and realise the strength in us.”
Ms Ramakhula said while they needed the support of men, women needed to do things for themselves because they were capable making ends meet.
“We are lobbying men and youth for their support and that is why we have called them to speak about the value of women in their lives and also to teach them about GBV.”
Ms Ramakhula said they would also provide para-legal and other training to equip people to resolve misunderstandings that arose in their families and communities.
She said it was necessary to engage men and youths because, “We deal with family issues therefore they should be included”.
“Men are generally perceived as perpetrators of GBV so we want them to have knowledge of our roles in the families so in order to deal with that they need to be there to speak about our value to them as women. We will try to make them appreciate our importance if they don’t see any,” she said.