Patriarchy ‘is cause of abuse’
Gender activist Nomboniso Gasa has called for the destruction of structured patriarchy within institutions, including the justice system, that indirectly favoured perpetrators and further victimised women.
Gasa, who is researcher on gender-based violence issues, said patriarchy was the root of gender-based violence and penetrated all institutions, including the justice system, and perpetrators of such crimes continued to benefit from it.
Speaking at the Vodacom Walk for Good event in Midrand yesterday in support of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign, Gasa said it was high time corporates and government took action against systematic patriarchy that exists within their institutions, subjecting women to abuse.
She said men had to take responsibility that they were a problem to society and enjoyed the fruits of a system that had made them superior to women.
“For anybody who wants to address violence against women, you have to address patriarchy as the most dangerous system which is a threat to human life. It is a threat to women as it is a tool used by men to violate them,” she said.
“We are not dealing with individual behaviour, we are dealing with the aftermath of a system that has reproduced toxic masculinity behaviours; where women and gay man have to police their behaviours from the toxic masculine behaviour.
“We have to stop nursing ill mentality of men and continue to have conversation that make perpetrators uncomfortable.”
Former National Prosecuting Authority coordinator Phumeza Malani said addressing social ills permitting men to behave badly had to start in raising children and not subjecting them to gender-based roles.
Boys had to be taught how not to abuse and girls told how to protect themselves from abuse.
She said failure by the police to properly deal with gender-based abuse proved to be a secondary form of victimisation.
Malani said the office of the Presidency was working on building more Thuthuzela centres that cared for victims of gender-based violence.
For anybody who wants to address violence against women, you have to address patriarchy as the most dangerous system which is a threat to human life.
Nomboniso Gasa Gender activist