Teach the boys to be real men | The Citizen

We need to move to eradicate the toxic masculinity which runs through our society.

Poverty, corruption and ignorance have long tormented Africa, but the continent’s most insidious and intractable problem is the one most men in its macho societies often don’t want to discuss.

The treatment of women as property, not deserving of rights, is pervasive across Africa and leads to awful violence against women and children by men, who often believe it is their cultural right to mete out such abuse.

President Cyril Ramaphosa put it plainly at the African Union Men’s Conference on positive masculinity in Pretoria yesterday.

He said men need to talk openly about patriarchy, sexism and male chauvinism.

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We need to move to eradicate the toxic masculinity which runs through our society.

Gender activists say, sadly, that this won’t be easy because many men are beyond redemption, so deep is their belief in their divine right of power over women.

Changing society means starting with boys, raising them to respect women and to stand up for freedom and equality for all. It means questioning traditional gender roles.

It means stopping sexist jokes and innuendo.

Africa’s new man has to be soft without being weak, brave without being brutal and treat everyone, particularly women, the way he would want to be treated himself.

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