Congratulations to MenEngage Africa manager and head of Sonke’s Regional Programmes and Networks Unit, Itumeleng Komanyane, for managing to ensure that the role of men and boys in promoting gender equality and justice in the southern Africa region is not overlooked!
Komanyane made a submission in this regard at the SADC Parliamentary round-table, which was held from 7-8 September 2016 in Gaborone, Botswana, on addressing the links between gender-based violence (GBV) and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in southern Africa.
Her submission forms part of a nine-page communiqué that has been adopted by the forum and it reads:
“The Roundtable recognised and emphasised the importance of the involvement of boys and men in the fight against GBV and all its negative consequences. In this vein, the Roundtable called for the adoption of emerging and promising approaches in mitigating GBV, through proactive promotion and engagement of men and boys in all their diversities in gender equality, including by taking proactive steps to care for their own health and the health of their sexual partners. In this regard, it was necessary to ensure that laws and policies were inclusive, non-discriminatory and enabled full involvement of all, in gender equality, in GBV and SRHR programmes. There should also be a strengthening of health and community systems to be more competent, responsive and inclusive of the needs of men and women in all their diversities.”
This is a significant strategic achievement for the work of MenEngage Africa and Sonke Gender Justice’s goal of putting gender norms transformation and engaging men and boys for gender justice on the regional platform’s agenda.
The round-table was attended by members of parliaments from the SADC region, civil society and United Nations agencies.