MenEngage Swaziland Network
The Swaziland Country network is chaired by the Swaziland Action Group against Abuse (SWAGAA). SWAGAA is a leading national organisation in the fight against gender-based violence in Swaziland. Created in 1990 it has a wealth of experience and well-established mechanisms and networks to achieve the network objectives, having worked for over two decades to bring the abuse of women and children into the public eye and to the attention of decision-makers, through advocacy, education, and media work. In addition, SWAGAA also provides comprehensive counselling and case management services to survivors of abuse.
Kwakha Indvodza, a member of MenEngage eSwatini has launched a campaign to challenge fathers in eSwatini to reflect and change their ways to adopt a more active role in the home, including child-raising responsibilities, in a deeply patriarchal and conservative society. Khopotso Bodibe, Communications and Media Specialist for MenEngage Africa Alliance, spoke with Tom Churchyard, Executive Director of Kwakha Indvodza, to get us some details about this initiative.
Saying that making teenage pregnancy a punishable offence would reduce its escalating rate in the country is not constructive. Should the article and its headline be accurate, there are quite a number of questions that come to mind.
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) programmes in sub-Saharan Africa have been reporting that a disproportionately higher number of women are on treatment compared to men.
25 November 2018
To coincide with 16 Days of Activism Against gender-Based Violence 2018, KwakhaIndvodza, a member of MenEngage Swaziland, together with the United States Embassy of Eswatini and MenEngage Swaziland have been running campus chats at tertiary institutions across the land to break the silence on gender-based violence faced by female students.
End #metoo stories in Swaziland by mentoring men
Women and girls in Swaziland are suffering and dying everyday from physical and sexual violence at the hands of men. Much of this is avoidable. This project will mentor and educate 600 men and boys in Swaziland to be peaceful and respectful men. Through 3-day intensive mentorship camps, participants will be encouraged to challenge negative social and cultural values that view women as sexual and expendable objects or as less than equal. Let’s put an end to #metoo stories in Swaziland.
“Man confesses to beheading woman.” “Man stabs, kills girlfriend.” “Man grabs girl from mother, rapes her”. Real headlines like these feature almost daily within local newspapers in Swaziland, a country where 1 in 3 girls will experience some form of sexual/physical violence before age 18. See a common denominator? Men! Many of these heinous acts are committed by men, often someone close to the survivor. It’s time that we teach young men to cherish women & to treat them with dignity and respect.
Working in the most violent areas of the country, KI will host 3-day male-mentoring camps that allow young men to talk about violence against women, childhood abuse and expectations of manhood. These innovative camps will equip 600 young Swazi men to challenge a culture of sexual harassment, rape, and violence that many Swazi women and girls at all levels of society have faced. Young men will also be motivated to share this newly gained knowledge & perspective with peers as community activists.
The project will mentor 600 young men and boys to be non-violent, positive community members who treat women as equals and with respect. These young men will also create significant change in their peers. As a result, thousands of women and girls in communities around Swaziland will no longer have to live and suffer in fear of sexual & physical violence. Family cohesion will flourish as men and women work together to build positive, more equal home environments and stronger Swazi communities.
Read more and contribute to the project here.
This video is part of the Emachawe Asekhaya campaign which has been devised by KwakhaIndvodza, a member of MenEngage Swaziland. Kwakha Indvodza seeks to reduce the incidence of gender-based violence and HIV through interrogating and redefining masculinity and believes that by celebrating positive male role models we can address the toxic image of masculinity which is a well-documented driver of increased HIV incidence, socio-cultural and socio economic barriers to development in the patriarchal Swazi context.
Working in close collaboration with local partners such as Ministry of Health, NERCHA and Men Engage Swaziland partners as well as regional partners including Sonke Gender Justice and Men Engage Africa, Kwakha Indvodza believes the Emachawe Asekhaya campaign will contribute to the national targets of reduced gender-based violence and HIV incidence rates, as well as advocate for effective couple communication, family-based health seeking behaviour and male-friendly health systems and services.
Watch the video here
Swaziland and HIV: Redrawing What it Means to Be a Man
Al Jazeera reports on the work of Kwakha Indvodza, a member of MenEngage Swaziland, to change the harmful attitudes of men and boys in seeking health and HIV services, which research shows make men more vulnerable to illness and death due to AIDS.
Men and Boys: The Missing Link to Ending AIDS by 2030
The universal goal to end AIDS by 2030 will amount to nothing but a dream unless men and boys are meaningfully engaged as partners in the global response to AIDS. Historically, efforts to address HIV have largely focused on women and girls, but evidence suggests that men and women need to be equally targeted – as both are at risk of HIV. Over the years, women and girls have been shown to be at risk of HIV infection, with girls between the ages of 15 – 24 being most vulnerable. Who puts these women and girls at risk of infection? It’s obviously men and boys. Yet, the majority of men and boys are oblivious to their risk. Many men do not know their HIV status, they do not test for HIV, if infected they do not access treatment, when they eventually test for HIV it is often too late and they are most likely to die of AIDS-related complications compared to their female counterparts. Thus, while the face of AIDS is that of a woman, AIDS mortality has the face of a man.
Click here for the rest of the story.
MenEngage Swaziland Call For An End to Violence- June 9th, 2016
Purpose of the Network
To promote the engagement of men and boys in achieving gender equality, preventing HIV, promoting human rights and health and reducing violence at all levels.
Aims and Objectives
The Men Engage network seeks to promote collaboration and resource sharing, support joint advocacy initiatives and build capacity on engagement of men and boys in achieving gender equality in Swaziland. The network has prioritised the following areas of focus:
- Men and ending Gender Based Violence and Sexual Exploitation
- Men, Sexuality, Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and HIV and AIDS
- Men, Maternal and Child Health
- Men, Fatherhood and Care giving
- Men and Health
The network steering committee consist of a tripartite alliance of government, civil society as well as UN agencies which include:
The Coordinating Assembly of Non-Governmental Organisations in Swaziland (CANGO), the Gender and Family Issues Unit (National Gender Machinery under the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister), the National Emergency Response Council on HIV and Aids (NERCHA – which coordinates national HIV response in Swaziland), UNDP (which is the chair for the UN Gender theme group comprising all the UN agencies), UNFPA (which has committed to fund the network and its activities) and Population Services International (PSI).
Scope of Work
- To share best practices and draw recommendations for promotion of men as partners, men as service users and men as agents of change.
- Train gender, women’s and health organizations on networking and coalition-building, to promote gender and SRH/HIV policies and programmes that engage men and boys.
- To participate in, coordinate and/or facilitate networking meetings among coalition member organizations.
- To conduct joint campaigns and activities with other institutions to increase dialogue on the need for policies and programs that support engaging men in the promotion of gender equity, HIV prevention and SRH.
- To provide input into information, education or communication materials developed by network members related to men’s engagement in health and social justice.
- To establish active linkages (local, national and global) to raise men and boys’ voices and action on gender-based violence/VAW.
- To develop a knowledge base on men and masculinity through research and study.
- To campaign to change structural and behavioural barriers to ensure gender justice.
- To provide technical input into policy documents or guidelines developed to improve the quality of men, women and couple-friendly HIV and AIDS and sexual and reproductive health services.