CHRISTIAN relief and development organisation, World Vision Lesotho, on Friday held a gender-based violence (GBV) workshop for 25 men from the Leribe and Mohale’s Hoek districts as part of efforts to stem domestic violence among communities.
The workshop, which was held in Berea, was meant to equip the men with skills to respond to cases of GBV within their communities and families, according to World Vision Lesotho’s Gender Advocacy Manger ‘Maseisa Ntlama.
“We also trained them on how they can avoid becoming perpetrators of GBV themselves within their families and communities,” Ms Ntlama said.
She added after gathering from reports that the GBV rate was very high in the Mohale’s Hoek and Leribe districts, World Vision decided to change its usual approach of speaking to women only by engaging men who are usually the perpetrators. The organisation also sought to understand from the men, factors that push some of them to become perpetrators of GBV.
“Bearing in mind that in most cases, those who commit GBV are men, we decided to bring them on board this time around,” said Ms Ntlama.
“Our intention was to get their side of the story and equip them with skills so they can revise their attitudes towards GBV.
“We also wanted to get their viewpoint on GBV as heads of families.”
Ms Ntlama added during the workshop, the men were trained on different types of abuse and how they affect children and women in communities, highlighting the bitter consequences to both the victim and perpetrator.
“The men showed a willingness to learn and fix what they had been doing wrong in their communities,” Ms Ntlama said.
“With our support, this group is going to establish men’s clubs in their communities and train others, as well as sensitising their communities on the importance of ending GBV.”
One of the attendees, Mosiuoa Senkantši, lauded World Vision for the “fruitful” workshop, adding he had realised during the training that some of the things he did to his family bordered on GBV.
“I learned that I had been abusing my wife and kids all along and came to understand what GBV really is,” Mr Senkantši said.
“As men, we opt to solve our problems with war most of the time, but during the workshop, we discussed more appropriate ways to iron out our differences instead of always opting to use our weapons.”
Mr Senkantši added that they had tasked each other to come up with ideas to prevent GBV within their communities as men.
The trainees, Mr Senkantši also said, had decided to teach other men about abuse and its consequences.
“Men need to learn that women are not their subordinates but equals, which is why they must treat them with respect and care.”