Teach boys to see girls as equals

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Black men are more likely to believe it is okay to abuse women. A Statistics South Africa report titled "Crime against women in South Africa", that was released this week, reveals this disturbing picture.

The report's timing is apt as too many women in SA, more so young women, are physically abused or killed by their partners.

The Stats SA report is a testimony to the fact that women are under siege and if nothing is done, more women will die at the hands of people they believe love them. This behaviour calls for everyone in the society to teach boys how to treat girls.

Boys must receive these lessons from when they are still young.

Families need to treat their boy and girl children equally. Black families especially, teach their girl children that they have to do chores - such as cleaning and cooking - while boys just sit around and do nothing.

A girl is brought up to believe she has to work for the man of the house. They must clean the house, wash the clothes and cook for their brothers.

This is purposely done to prepare girls for marriage later in their lives, so that they do the same for their husbands.

Girls are taught to be obedient and caring, but these values - including equality - need to be instilled in all children, despite their sex. Should families get this one right, then even the teachers' work to instil the same values would be made easier.

Another thing, a girl has to be allowed to be herself. Not all girls like doing the normal traditional house work that is associated with being a girl or a woman.

The same goes to girls being expected by society to bear children. Some girls are just not wired that way, and society, especially men, have to accept that.

Families have to protect their daughters by teaching their boys to respect girls and women, and their wishes.

A recent video of a drunk schoolgirl at a school in Bloemfontein showed boys forcing themselves on her.

Though drunkenness at her age should be frowned at, those boys had no right to take advantage of her.

Society needs to instil in boys values that say women are their equals and that they should not be violent towards them.

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