Where are South Africa's good men?
Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on Sunday called on men to take up their responsibility in the war against violence against women and children and the scourge of HIV/Aids.
Mlambo-Ngcuka, speaking at the Fourth Treatment Action Campaign’s national congress at the Birchwood Hotel, said: “Good men must not be silent on issues affecting women including HIV and Aids. When good men are silent, they become part of the problem.”
She said she wanted to see “real men” speaking out about HIV and being the first ones to produce condoms before sex. Mlambo-Ngcuka also said that men should be the ones to encourage their partners to test for HIV and discuss the test results.
She further called on men to be the ones to explain to the rest of the family about infant feeding choices for preventing mother-to-child-transmission of HIV.
Mlambo-Ngcuka said she believed the country had the necessary support structures in place, such as the legal framework, policies, strategies, organisational arrangements, leadership and partnerships, to mount a robust response.
The “commitments expressed by the different role-players needs to translate into tangible outputs”.
She stressed the importance of family in the fight against HIV/Aids, adding that awareness started at home and in the family.
Mlambo-Ngcuka said the recent Noord Street taxi rank incident, where a woman wearing a mini-skirt was assaulted by taxi drivers and hawkers, was worrisome.
“These stereotypes are some of the things that need to change,” she said, calling for a more committed social mobilisation to stop this type of violence.
The deputy president thanked the Treatment Action Campaign and other
role-players in the fight against HIV/Aids and said government realised that the fight cannot be won without partners.
“It is for this reason that we are grateful for the cordial relations that, even as we differ on one issue or the other, we are able to agree on the fundamentals that are necessary to move forward”. - Sapa