As part of the government’s effort to address gender-based violence, scores of men from across the country gathered on Thursday last, at the Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club (GMRSC), to address ways to curb violence against women and girls.
Held under the theme, “#HearMeToo: Collective Voices Against Gender-Based Violence,” the men ‘s forum was a collaboration between the Ministry of Social Protection, Voices against Violence, the Women’s Gender & Equality Commission and other stakeholders, according to the Department of Public Information (DPI).
The event was part of the ministry’s 16 days of Activism campaign against Gender-Based Violence which began on November 25 and will conclude today.
DPI said that the participants discussed a number of topics including sexual and reproductive health, gender-based violence, poor health choices, male perpetrators of violence and what defines and determines masculinity.
Director of Social Services, Wentworth Tanner, said that while women and children are often highlighted as the primary victims of gender-based violence, men are affected as well and often are not heard. He said this led to the ministry’s decision to create a forum where the male population has a platform to discuss such matters.
“Most men do not see themselves as perpetrators, however, due to the fact only a few men participate in such activities many are unaware of what constitutes violence and how to address it. Therefore, the goal of this programme is to help the targeted audience (men) change their mindsets as it relates to violence against women and children,” Tanner said.