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President Cyril Ramaphosa Believes Men and Boys Can Break the Cycle of Violence

by Central News Reporter
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President Cyril Ramaphosa has hailed the sixth District Development Model (DDM) Presidential Imbizo as a success.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

As the country marks the start of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign, President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent a powerful message to the nation. In his weekly newsletter, the President emphasized the crucial role that men and boys play in breaking the cycle of violence.

The President’s words come in the wake of a disturbing incident that occurred earlier this month. A young male student was seen stabbing his partner, also a student, on the campus of the Peninsula University of Technology. The brazen nature of the attack, which took place in broad daylight and in full view of the public, underscores the urgency of addressing gender-based violence in South Africa.

In response to this incident, President Ramaphosa commended the brave students who intervened, as well as the male students who attempted to ward off the attacker. He also highlighted the need to address the cultural ambivalence that perpetuates gender-based violence, noting that many men view crimes against women and children as a “private matter” or a “family matter.”

The President’s message coincides with the upcoming 3rd Men’s Conference on Positive Masculinity, which will be hosted by the African Union (AU) in Pretoria. This conference will call on men to reject toxic displays of masculinity and play a more active role in combating gender-based violence.

President Ramaphosa emphasized that ending gender-based violence is a priority for both South Africa and the AU. He pointed to the ongoing discussions about an African Convention to End Violence Against Women and Girls as a significant step toward addressing this issue on a continental level.

At the national level, South Africa has adopted a national strategy to combat gender-based violence, with a strong emphasis on prevention. The President highlighted the importance of engaging with various stakeholders, including civil society, academia, traditional leaders, and the private sector, in efforts to prevent gender-based violence.

Furthermore, the President emphasized the need for interventions that focus on promoting positive masculinity through dialogues, workshops, awareness-raising campaigns, and behavioral change programs. He highlighted several initiatives across different sectors that provide space for men to critically examine their own attitudes and prejudices that contribute to gender-based violence.

One example of such initiatives is the Presidential Young Men and Boys’ Indaba, which aims to create a safe space for young men to discuss their experiences with masculinity and how it impacts their attitudes toward gender-based violence.

President Ramaphosa acknowledged the unique pressures that young men in South Africa face, including the lack of positive male role models, absentee fathers, vulnerability to recruitment by criminals, and socio-economic pressures. He stressed the importance of creating a mindset that sees young men as part of the solution, rather than just the problem.

Looking ahead to the AU Men’s Conference, the President expressed confidence that the outcomes of the conference will galvanize men and boys to play a greater role in breaking the cycle of violence, not only in South Africa but across the continent.

president cyril ramaphosa

president cyril ramaphosa

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