The Sunday Mail
Sunday Mail Reporter
Men in the community are coming together to add their voices towards the call to end violence against women through dialogue platforms that have been facilitated by the Government and other stakeholders.
Dubbed ‘Guy Talks’, these gatherings provide a safe space for men to discuss the triggers of violence against women, and how they can assist each other to resolve conflict in a positive manner. Implemented by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development, the Population Services International, through its arm, Population Solutions for Health, with support from the Swedish Embassy, the ‘Guy Talks’ are premised on the notion that ‘Love Shouldn’t Hurt’, but it should be shown through kindness, affection positive communication and mutually supportive behaviour.
Speaking during the ‘Guy Talks’ meeting held in Mbare recently, Bishop Tendai Matitsa of Jekenishen Church expressed his gratitude for the platform which he said has allowed the church to express their own views on GBV.
“We continue to spread the word against GBV and try to engage those men who think beating women is love, we have learnt here that beating a woman is not love because love shouldn’t hurt”, said Bishop Matitsa.
Mr Tafadzwa Choto from the Fathers Against Abuse organisation shared how they are partnering with Population Solutions for Health in growing the ‘Love Shouldn’t Hurt’ movement.
“We saw that influencers can be part of the movement and propel this campaign forward, by speaking out on the issue of ‘Love Shouldn’t Hurt’ through their influences,” said Mr Choto.
“Today as part of the dialogues, we had religious leaders, artists, coaches, and footballers who can go on to share the campaign message in their community. There is a need for us to discard toxic ideas that define men as people who resort to violence, we need to create new positive masculinity that will ensure our community becomes safer and violence-free,” he said.
Population Solutions for Health Social Marketing Director Ms Kumbirai Chatora said the ‘Love Shouldn’t Hurt’ campaign is a drive to engage men in reflective dialogues that help them to explore and challenge social norms that perpetuate violence against women.
“Including men as agents of change and champions against GBV will help to prevent violence before it happens,” she said.
Well-known personalities including Winky D, Holy 10, Ammara Brown, Roki and Seh Calaz have also united to help in raising awareness of GBV through songs and videos on their social media platforms.
Gender-based violence is deeply rooted in gender inequality and continues to be one of the most notable human rights violations within societies. With the emergence of Covid-19, cases of gender-based violence are on the rise in the country and this calls for combined efforts among stakeholders to come together and create platforms for engagement, such as these dialogues so that men can learn from each other and commit to ending violence in their relationships.