Primestars says boys need to be included in conversations around GBV

The youth development company plans to target 10,000 high school boys in a programme that seeks to educate boys about GBV from an early age.

Primestars launched its programme 'What About the Boys' to educate boys about gender-based violence from an early age on 30 June 2022. Picture: Nokukhanya Mntambo/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - There is a growing need to include young boys in tough conversations about gender-based violence (GBV).

This is the position of Primestars managing director Martin Sweet.

It launched its flagship GBV intervention programme in Sandton on Thursday.

This comes amid renewed calls to address the growing scourge of femicide in the country.

The youth development company plans to target 10,000 high school boys in a programme that seeks to educate boys about GBV from an early age.

Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu, Johannesburg mayor Mpho Phalatse, former deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and the former first lady Zanele Mbeki were among the attendees at the launch.

Primestars' groundbreaking programme titled 'What About the Boys' aims to break the cycle of GBV in society.

Moreover, it proposes a paradigm shift to teach boys about how damaging stereotypes of traditional masculinity contribute to GBV.

Sweet described the programme as an attempt at redefining masculinity.

It is expected to utilise educational films and other activities to bring self-awareness, accountability and responsibility - especially in communities where violence against women prevailed.

Sweet vowed that the programme wouldn't be another talk shop without implementation.

"And no one has really asked that question, what can we do for them? How can we help them? How can we bring them together? What can we teach them? How can we mentor them? And this starts with a movement across the country. With books giving them information on how to be better men and we want to raise a nation of good men."

The youth development company said it hopes the initiative will bring about changes in the behaviour patterns of young boys.