Africa-Press – South-Africa. The Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) Response Fund says institutions of higher learning have become increasingly unsafe for women, and is calling on men to end the cycle of violence by speaking up against it and unlearning behaviours that enable it.
Tshepo Sefotlhelo, the fund’s spokesperson, said daily figures of women who suffered at the hands of men were alarming.
According to their research, nearly 60% of women experienced abuse on campus and 57.5% had missed classes after the abuse.
Most abusers, he said, were either known to the women or were in their close social circles.
He said rape, among other forms of abuse, had been normalised in society which has led to rising numbers of abuse victims.
Men needed to unlearn problematic views about women, their bodies, and masculinity, Sefotlhelo added.
He suggested that educating men and young boys in schools and higher learning institutions could help root out problematic behaviour.
“We urgently need to address young men’s attitudes about women’s bodies. The toxicities of masculinity need to be addressed – especially in schools and on university campuses – to change the socialisation of boys and young men,” he said.
The GBVF Response Fund was founded by President Cyril Ramaphosa in February last year. It is research based and aims to raise awareness about GBVF and assist community-based organisations that work with abused women.
According to its 2021/2022 report, the fund has raised R162 million, a large proportion of which comes from the private sector.