In early June 2009, the Medical Research Council (MRC) released research detailing the extraordinarily high levels of gender violence in South Africa.
The study into violence and HIV found that 28% of the men surveyed in the Eastern Cape admitted to having committed rape. The research also found that there is a marked correlation between violence and HIV: perpetrators of gender-violence are twice as likely to be HIV-positive. They are also more likely not to use condoms and to pay for sex.
Although appalling, these findings are not new: previous research in other parts of South Africa has found similar results. We have long known that gender-based violence is endemic in all South African communities. Our own research with participants in One Man Can workshops has shown that 50% of those surveyed had personally witnessed acts of gender violence since the workshops.
Sonke recognises that the majority of South African men do not use violence against women and calls on all men ? especially those active in the One Man Can Campaign? to speak out against men’s violence against women whenever it occurs. Like many other men across the country, the men involved in the One Man Can Campaign are proud of our country’s commitment to achieving gender equality.
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