NEWS

Men Must Rise And Challenge 'Psyche Of Violent Masculinity' -- #NotInMyName Organiser

The #NotInMyName march in Pretoria is planned to raise awareness about the epidemic of gender-based violence in the country.

19/05/2017 13:54 SAST | Updated 20/05/2017 14:48 SAST

Campaigners are encouraging men to join the #NotInMyName march in Pretoria on Saturday calling for an end to violence against women.

The march, scheduled to commence at Church Square at 10AM, is organised by campaigners Kholofelo Masha, Siyabulela Jentile and Obakeng Motshabi and is supported by Brothers For Life.

March organiser Kholofelo Masha told HuffPost SA on Friday violence against women has become an "acceptable norm" in South Africa and must urgently be challenged.

He says a coalition of individuals and civil society groups intend to march from Church Square in Pretoria as an indication that "responsibility needs to be taken by citizens for this crisis right now", Masha said.

'Dominant and violent masculinity'

"This has become part of our culture in the country and it cannot continue this way," he says. "People like Karabo [Mokoena] are murdered by close, intimate partners who they trusted with their lives and personal information... it cannot continue this way," he said.

Masha said men needed to urgently change their attitudes towards women and transform a "psyche of masculinity that is so dominant and violent".

"We know the types of things we say. Women are objectified all the time. If a women passes, there will always be an undertone of nasty comments shared [between men]. This reinforces the psyche of violent masculinity," he said.

The march poster calls for people to "raise concern over killings, rape and abuse of women by us [men]" and says "No to femicide!". Masha says men need to "rise and take responsibility so that we will change this culture".

"It is so disappointing that when this happens we sit there, do nothing about it and continue with our lives as if nothing is going on. If we do nothing, we are saying we accept this culture," he says.

'No memorandum for government''

Although the march will conclude at the Union Buildings, Masha says there is no memorandum that will be handed to government as the march is primarily about "citizens taking responsibility for the crisis right now".

Minister of Women in the Presidency Susan Shabangu, however, has been criticised on social media for perceived "silence" in light of recent cases of rape and murder of women highlighted in media.

Shabangu told 702 on Wednesday that men need to be mobilised and "not only women to make sure society as a whole is about to address the scourge of violence against women".

Patriarchy, she said, was a "contributing factor towards violence against women and children".

She said her department has begun hosting national dialogues on violence and abuse which include both men and women.

The #NotInMyName march is scheduled to commence at 10am at Church Square, Pretoria, and will continue until 12PM.

*Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the march is organised by Brothers For Life. It has been updated to indicate it is organised by independent campaigners Kholofelo Masha, Siyabulela Jentile and Obakeng Motshabi and supported by Brothers For Life.