Men’s forum garners large audience

As part of the government’s effort to address gender-based violence, scores of men from across the country gathered on Thursday last, at the Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club (GMRSC), to discuss the ways to curb violence against women and girls.
Held under the theme, “#HearMeToo: Collective Voices Against Gender-Based Violence,” the men ‘s forum was a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Social Protection, Voices against Violence, the Women’s Gender & Equality Commission and other stakeholders.
This event forms part of the ministry’s 16 days of Activism campaign against Gender-Based Violence, which commenced on November 25 and will conclude on December 10. The campaign is being held in recognition of the need to eliminate violence against women and children.
The participants discussed a number of topics including sexual and reproductive health, gender-based violence, poor health choices, male perpetrators of violence and what defines and determines masculinity.
Director of Social Services, Wentworth Tanner, noted that while women and children are often highlighted as the primary victims of gender-based violence, men are affected as well and often are not heard.
He said this led to the ministry’s decision to create a forum where the male population has a platform to discuss such issues and gain an understanding as it relates to violence.
“Most men do not see themselves as perpetrators, however, due to the fact only a few men participate in such activities many are unaware of what constitutes violence and how to address it. Therefore, the goal of this programme is to help the targeted audience (men) change their mindsets as it relates to violence against women and children,” Tanner explained.
Meanwhile, Manager of the Gender Affairs Bureau, Adel Lilly noted that “some offenders are often abused themselves and are unable to express themselves during their childhood.”
The Ministry of Social Protection is currently working to introduce more male-related programmes.

About caribvoice

Free lance journalist, educator and community activist. Guyana born New York based.
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