15/08/2017 11:56 SAST | Updated 15/08/2017 12:12 SAST

We Seriously Need To Change How We Raise Boys To Curb Gender-Based Violence

"We need to get to the man before he gets to the woman."

Ahmad Masood / Reuters

Unless we change how we raise boys, gender-based violence issues will persist. This is according to Bafana Khumalo, the senior strategic advisor at Sonke Gender Justice.

He was speaking to HuffPost SA on Tuesday following the murder of primary school teacher, Kate Chiloane, in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga. The 30-year-old was shot dead allegedly by her husband, in full view of her learners. The man, Vusi Mdluli, later turned the gun on himself.

"We need to get to the man before he gets to the woman," said Khumalo. "What causes a man to get a gun and kill his wife in cold blood? What are we saying to boys? What are we teaching them about women?" asks Khumalo.

He is of the opinion that if there was any change to what he believes were toxic masculinity attitudes, it must start at home. "That boy in KwaZulu-Natal who assaulted a female learner -- he probably grew up in an environment that permits such violence against women," he said.


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Khumalo believes that government urgently needs a national strategic plan on dealing with gender-based violence in order to turn the tide. A plan that will include all sectors of society, including business and non-profit organisations.

"We need prevention programmes in schools, in mines, in churches, to help engender a different way of being a man -- and not just this strong, violent man who thinks a woman is a weak, second-class citizen, to be owned and used."

Khumalo cautioned that jail was not the only long-term solution. "You can lock a person up and they can still decide to take a gun and go kill a person."

Change how a man views masculinity and women, he said.

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