As part of the MasiSports coaches workshop held at the beginning of February, Gender Equity was a top of mind. Coolplay’s Nokulunga Mvandaba and Luvuyo Teko of Community Cohesion, a victim empowerment group that offers counseling and group work, led these enlightening group sessions. They are key to the drive of ensuring gender equality in all aspects of MasiSports.
A small insight into the discussions:
Gender-Based Violence workshop
Luvuyo asked the question: What is the driving force of GBV towards children in our communities?
Group contributions included:
• Alcohol and drug abuse by the parents
• Young parents without a support system, guidance
• Myths – for example, getting rid of HIV by sleeping with a young child
• Parents who have had a harsh background themselves, or carry trauma from their own childhood.
• Poverty: adults are angry and depressed because they are unemployed and take it out on their children
• Child-headed households, which don’t offer protection to the children
• Peer pressure eg social media
• Gender stereotyping – eg men are the head of the household and they can behave how they want
• Lack of knowledge
• A fixed mindset: an inability to change, adapt
• The fact that a child used to belong to the community, but this social fabric has been destroyed.
Groups then worked on the questions of the types of GBV committed against children, the effect of this violence, and the barriers for alleged perpetrators in recognising they are abusing children.
Gender Equity workshop
Nokulunga’s talk covered the topic of gender equity and its role in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women.
“It was an eye-opener for me,” says educator coach Doza Pudumo.
“For example, I used to ask only the girls to sweep the floor in my classroom, and when it comes to removing the dirt, I usually asked the boys. For me, the workshop taught me that what I was doing was wrong. Now I know that it’s not supposed to be like that. If I need the class to be swept, then I need to ask both boys and girls to help. Boys need to know that they can also sweep the floor so that one day they can sweep the floor in their own houses. Boys and girls can do all the tasks in my classroom. I am going to treat them equally.”
The animated discussions and group work was a sure test of the success and quality of the presentations by Luvuyo and Nokulunga. Their passion for this topic was self-evident.
We are privileged to have them involved in our community.