Report from the Desk of the Secretariat Coordinator

National Men’s Sector

Recently the secretariat audited the men’s sector at all levels in trying to understand our influence in terms of advocacy and social mobilization. The men’s sector is growing by leaps and bounds in the provinces. The visibility of member organisations and campaigns at district level has also increased and for that reason our National Deputy Chairperson Tshiamo Moela was given a task to draft national men’s guidelines to assist the men’s sector in running its business of coordinating men’s responses in South Africa. These guidelines need to be aligned with the SANAC procedural guidelines. The guidelines are ready to be adopted by the next national executive committee thanks to both National Chairperson Rev Bafana Khumalo and his deputy Mr Tshiamo Moela.

Progress in the provinces

The Gauteng Province Men’s Sector elected its leadership and most districts are participating in the coordination of the Gauteng Men’s Sector responses. Recently the sector in Gauteng in partnership with the Department of Health drafted a call to action (and implementation) of massive men’s dialogues at district level targeting men from all walks of life. For the first time the sector in Gauteng participated in the dialogue with the Deputy President, and Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council, on the 16 April 2013. Three weeks later the sector met with Gauteng men’s organisations and organisations working with men and boys to strengthen working relations and to discuss traditional male circumcision. The Gauteng Men’s Sector has called on government to close all illegal traditional male circumcision schools in South Africa and urge other provinces to support the call.

In KwaZulu-Natal the men’s sector conducted an induction workshop in Partnership with the office of the Premier, the Provincial Council on AIDS and the Provincial Department of Health. KwaZulu-Natal leaders pledged to work with other men to address violence against the LGBTI community and also agreed to promote Medical Male circumcision.

The Eastern Cape followed the Free State’s and Limpopo’s example — the sector is in a process of signing a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Social Development focusing on victim empowerment programme through the Capraway Development Agency. Not far from the Table Mountain Men’s Sector – Western Cape in partnership with Sonke Gender Justice and Traditional Leadership hosted a men’s dialogue in Gugulethu targeting about 200 men and boys. According to Western Cape focal person Patrick Godana, the province is ready to implement programmes targeting men and boys including a campaign to address violence against lesbian women and gay men.

The men’s secretariat and leadership also attended four provincial men’s sector stakeholders’ meetings in Gauteng, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Northern Cape and about seven provinces are ready to roll out men’s dialogues towards the national men’s march with the Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe, on 24 August 2013.

Support by the secretariat

The secretariat and Brothers For Life campaigners will be supporting all the dialogues in the country and we hope all men’s organizations including the newly established men’s forums will also form part of the campaign to address violence against women and children.