By Style Reporter
Gender rights organisation Padare/Enkundleni Men’s Forum on Gender is continuing with its fight to enhance male involvement in its fight for gender justice and ending gender-based violence (GBV).
To that end, the organisation engaged male parliamentarians on March 31 with a view to push for a policy shift towards the attainment of gender justice and equality.
Speaking to Standard Style, Padare /Enkundleni Men’s Forum on Gender programmes officer Paul Vingi said male involvement in the fight for gender justice was an apt initiative which will go a long way in ensuring that everyone is hands on deck towards the emancipation of women.
“Patriarchy remains an embedded ill in our communities but we strongly believe gender justice will be achieved particularly if we involve men who are the main perpetrators of violence against women,” Vingi said.
“We are happy to be doing all it takes to engage all the key stakeholders towards this envisioned ideal and the engagement of male parliamentarians is a big step towards ensuring a shift in how women are considered in society.
“We want gender justice and equality for all and this fruitful engagement with male parliamentarians has given us a better perspective of how policy can go a long way in doing away with certain societal ills against women that border on patriarchy.”
According to Padare/Enkundleni Men’s Forum on Gender national director Walter Vengesai, the engagement with the parliamentarians is central to gender justice.
“During the engagement with parliamentarians, we pointed out that issues of gender where not be being advocated by man in parliament and that the vision is to have men who are gender sensitive in the parliament, those who can get to raise issues around gender inequalities especially when it comes to policy making where women parliamentarians have been going it alone,” Vengesai said.
“The aim of this meeting was to come up with a way to have Padare/Enkundleni Men’s Forum on Gender and the male members of Parliament work together to achieve this common goal.
“The parliamentarians liked the idea and are perched to learn and kick the ball forward hence forth.”
According to Vingi, the male parliamentarians also vowed to push for women political participation, ending child marriages and ensuring the marriage bill espouses women sensitive ideals.
“The members of parliament also discussed ways they can lessen the burden of women through child care by setting up recreational parks where children can go play safely while they do other things.
“The parliamentarians agreed to work with the Padare/Enkundleni Men’s Forum on Gender in pushing gender justice motions while the organisation would source for funds to make the initiative work.”
Vingi said topical issues discussed during the meeting with parliamentarians will be tackled two-way because they also affect men and the organisation’s participation at the recent Chitungwiza Men’s Conference coordinated by the office of the First Lady was also premised on the same understanding.
“Padare wants to advocate for a platform where men and women don’t fight but speak with one voice when it comes to gender issues,” Vingi said.
“Collaboration is the way to go because equal rights and emancipation for all is good for development.”
“To cement our drive for gender justice and an end to GBV, we also managed to participate in a men’s health conference that was facilitated by the first lady’s office at Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex.
“During that conference, we encouraged men to participate in care work at home and care more about their health and not neglect it.”
Vingi also took the opportunity to thank Oxfam for the continued support towards Padare/Enkundleni Men’s Forum on Gender’s gender justice campaign and called for more such support towards the realisation of the organisation’s gender related goals and objectives.