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‘Men must join the fight against GBV’


Ntsoaki Motaung

SHE-HIVE Association will on November 19, celebrate the International Men’s Day (IMD) to raise awareness around men’s health issues.  

IMD commonly known as Movember, is celebrated annually on the 19th day of November.

According to SHE-HIVE Executive Director ‘Mamakhethe Phomane, Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, depression and high escalating rate of suicide amongst men.

“SHE-HIVE association will be celebrating Movember under the theme “A Race Against GBV” on Friday 19th November 2021,” she said.

Phomane said the theme seeks to encourage men to be at the forefront in the fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV), by prioritizing their mental health and well-being in order to beat the stereotype that men seek resolutions in criminal intent.

“We intend to host a relay racing competition where members of a team will take turns to complete parts of a racecourse. The aim of the “Race Against GBV” is to draw a picture or outline a simulation of the circle of GBV in our country,” she said.

Meanwhile, ‘Mampai Lebeko Treasurer SHE-HIVE, said the main aim for the race is to remind men about love.

“We find it a perfect time for men to ask themselves if they still have love. We strongly urge men to stand against and report GBV whenever it happens. All people that would like to participate in the race are expected to pay M6,000 per group of 10 people. The contribution will be used to support SHE-HIVE in its journey of fighting GBV both against women and men as well as children,” she said.

For his part, Seabata Makoae a Social Worker at SHE-HIVE, pointed out that as an association, they believe in the notion that violence is a learned behavior which can also be unlearned.            

“We have to accept as men or the entire nation that there is truly something monumentally wrong about the notion of manhood that we have, at least in Lesotho. Violence against men or women cannot be easily addressed but equally has to be addressed within the context of how a boy child was raised. In our norms when a boy child has fallen down he is told to stand up and stop crying but when it’s a girl child she is comforted and listened to,” he said.

He indicated that he does not want to talk about violence from the perspective where most people see it.

“From where people see it, we see results of what was planted many years back and we are supposed to fight it until it is uprooted. All the learned behavior that, men should not cry can be unlearned, men should come forth and talk about the violence they experience or even talk about them violating other people,” he said, adding that there appear to be more cases of violence against women than men because women often report while men find it against the principles of manhood to do so as it is tantamount to crying which is viewed as being effeminate.

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