Pa­tri­archy ‘is cause of abuse’

The Citizen (KZN) - - News - Si­ne­sipho Schrieber

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

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