THE EDITOR: Unquestionably, the desired change in the behaviour of our men towards our women in society would require more herculean and concerted efforts than penning a letter – but it is a start.
In such regard, on the heels of International Women’ s Day, celebrated last week, our society is yet again plunged into deeper levels of sorrow and grief with the panoply of painful reports of abuse and crimes against women.
Such reports give merit to the argument that women are being targeted for reasons yet to be determined, but reasons assumed to be that of poor education on women’s rights and treatment, failure of men to protect and perform their roles and insufficient attention given by way of policymakers and law enforcement personnel, among others.
Conversely, just a couple days ago, a video appeared on social media which captured the daring, daytime mugging of a woman by a man – in front of another man and in view of several eyewitnesses.
But even worse is the recent report of a woman being shot dead on Friday, apparently for her gold chain while in a taxi, en route to the capital city. Ludicrous!
But there is a larger, more frightening picture that has been painted on the canvas. Last year, of all 495 murders, it is reported that 52 women were killed. Of those unfortunate cases, 43 were due to domestic violence.
As men, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves when these statistics come to light – we are failing our mothers, our sisters, our daughters and our nieces.
Equally, however, is the need to provide the tools and training for men to live up to their responsibilities and expectations. We can no longer rely solely on the basic unit of society – the family – to equip men to so do. The family unit in itself is in a state of disrepair.
Truly, in some cases, men were not exposed to primary socialisation and are in little to no way being equipped to understand their functions in society. And in others, those men have difficulties coping with the changing dynamics in the role of women in society.
The time has come for all stakeholders to unite and intensify their efforts in educating men and women alike on issues that affect the quality of life for all.
We need those of influence to stand tall and denounce these heinous and cowardly acts perpetrated against our womenfolk.
We need our local women’s groups to cease having the convenient voice and become consistently vocal on their stance on issues affecting women.
We need each person who observes domestic violence or other crimes against women to report those cases to the police and to support the victim(s) and the officers who would seek to see justice prevail.
And, more importantly, we need men to accept their roles as caretakers, as protectors, as leaders so that, as a society, we can reverse the tidal wave of destruction that has seemingly befallen our beloved land.
RYAN NANTON via e-mail