The 17th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA), which is currently being held in Cape Town, hosted a session on HIV and Gender Based Violence (GBV), specifically dealing with changing social norms around GBV. Among the panelists was Bafana Khumalo of Sonke Gender Justice and the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC).
He spoke of the need to educate men around gender issues and to break the cycle of violent behaviour in men. Khumalo said that when we expose boys to violence in the household, we create men who often grow up to be abusive and feed into a culture that accepts GBV. Citing the recent controversy around poet Mzwakhe Mbuli, Khumalo noted that men who abuse women tend to be repeat offenders, and as long as women are dependent they will keep returning to those men and put themselves at greater risk.