From 05 April to 07 April 2023 and with the support of Diakonia, WALPE conducted male engagement sessions on gender equality and peace in Shumba village, Masvingo with 50 men whose ages ranged from 18 to 65 years old.
The men were very eager to learn and understand how they can contribute towards the greater good of achieving a gender-balanced society that is free from all forms of violence against women and girls.
Main issues discussed during the meeting included:
• Men supporting their wives, partners, daughters and sisters to take up leadership positions.
• Maintaining peace and stability in the upcoming elections to ensure an enabling environment for women, young women and women with disabilities to participate freely and fairly as both candidates and voters.
During the discussions, the men claimed that:
• Women become pompous and disrespectful when they take up leadership positions making it difficult to support them.
• Women tend to neglect their domestic and marital duties when they become leaders.
• Infidelity is rife among female politicians where they accused them of having affairs with other men in order for them to be elevated to positions of authority.
Indepth discussions ensued after they raised the issues above and with more enlightenment, the men agreed that most of their fears are bordered on insecurity and patriarchy as there a lot of principled women who are doing well in the political sphere.
At the end of the discussions, the men were more informed on the importance of supporting aspiring women leaders and expressed the need to have similar platforms where they can discuss the issues with the women present in order to find common ground.