By Nokukhanya Mabhena
The Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (MWACSMED), Lupane District commemorated 16 days of activism on zero tolerance against Gender Based Violence on Friday the 7th of December 2018 at Jotsholo area (ward 13) under the theme “Creating Zero tolerance to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace and Community”.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mrs Glory Damba the District Development Officer, said that she is very pleased that men also attended the function, as the 16 days of activism are not for women alone, but both sexes although a number of men often associate them with women alone.
“When we talk of gender we do not refer to women alone. Gender encompasses both men and women. Hence it is important that both men and women should come out whenever they suffer GBV because women are not the only ones who suffer GBV but men also.
However, in most cases men do not open up. Therefore I would like to encourage men to be bold enough and report cases of GBV”, said Mrs Damba.
She further said that this year’s theme “Creating Zero tolerance to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace and Community”, is a point of call to end sexual harassment to both sexes in workplaces and in the communities at large. She further noted that the Guest of Honour, Mr Christopher Chuma was specially chosen to grace the occasion so that men can also feel appreciated and included in gender campaigns.
In his speech, the Guest of Honour Mr Christopher Chuma, said that this year the target was to end sexual harassment in Schools, workplaces and the community at large. He encouraged the people of Lupane to shun cultural values and norms that perpetuate sexual harassment.
Badala yekelani okunye okuyimikhuba lamasiko enu ahlukumeza abantwana. Uzezwa umuntu omdala ethi emtwaneni oyinkazana lo ngumhlobo wenkomo zami woza ngapha sibare ngilamuze etsho ebamba amabele. (My elders, please stop some of these habits which are cultural but harass children. You hear an old man saying to a little girl, she is my type come let me have a feel, all the while fondling her breasts) This Mlamuisim (where a man fondles the younger sister of his wife) thing must end badala, said Mr Chuma.
The community members of Jotsholo represented by their ward Councillor, Cllr Liberty Sabelo Nyoni thanked MWACSMED Lupane, District Administrator and the responsible authority (Kusile Rural District Council), for granting them the opportunity to host the commemorations of 16 days of activism.