What About The Boys? - By Shari Ramlall
South Africa is an unsafe place for women. We live in a country where 51% of women have experienced Gender Based Violence (GBV) resulting in it being labelled the “destination of femicide”. What About the Boys? is a first-of-its-kind preventative national GBV programme designed to help high school boys redefine masculinity to stop GBV. The creators of the initiative, Primestars, said their vision for the initiative is “RAISING A NATION OF GOOD MEN”. On the 13th of August, my mom, Andrey Bogdanov (CEO of Risk Insights), Kunaal Kalyan (Head of ESG Equities Ratings) and I had the honour of attending the What About the Boys? launch. Martin Sweet MD of Primestars attributed the success of the event to the multi-stakeholder collaboration with progressive partners such as Chieta, Seriti, Smollan, ABSA, EOH and many more corporates and NGOs who are committed to participating in the eradication of gender-based violence in South Africa. The aim of the initiative is to teach boys how to inhabit masculinity responsibly. It is designed to engage them to share emotions in healthy ways, accept and connect with others, stand up and speak out against bullying and inequality, and break free from rigid gender stereotypes.
Through a multi-media approach – including an educational film and workbook, a national MENtorship model, a free online learning portal and relevant pre and post assessments – the programme provides a practical, on-the-ground, research-based model to address the underlying causes of gender-based violence in this target group. The rollout will be conducted in cinemas, rural communities and online.
Conscious organisations have begun working together to reduce the offenses against women to help pioneer change and create equality among all genders. Primestars have even created a pledge to show your intentions towards being the best man one can be. As a young woman, the launch of such an initiative created such a warm feeling for me to see men actively become a solution towards a serious problem and dedicate themselves towards creating a safe environment for all communities.
Primestars, Mr Martin Sweet and his team once again outdid themselves, launching a timely initiative dedicated towards being a driver of change within our nation. Thank you, Martin Sweet, for allowing us to be part of such an amazing initiative and inviting me to first-hand witness your force towards creating good by RAISING A NATION OF GOOD MEN. To learn more, checkout: www.primestarsdigital.co.za
By Shari Ramlall - Business Intelligence Analyst - ESG GPS Equity Ratings