BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
GENDER experts are advocating for early childhood education on the dangers of gender-based violence (GBV) to stop violation of women’s rights, a major obstacle in community development.
Activists who spoke during virtual meeting organised by Fathers Against Abuse (FAA), a non-profit organisation on fighting GBV on Thursday said children need to know at a young age that violence against women in society was not only a crime, but a form of masculine weakness.
FAA co-founder Alois Nyamazana said fathers and male guardians had a crucial role in shaping behaviour of the boy child because they are their immediate role models in a family set up.
“What is important is to fight negative masculinity in communities which promotes aggressiveness, violence emotionless in men and boys,” Nyamazana said.
“Those undesirable qualities of men and boys promote abuse against women, who are regarded as a weaker sex. Research has shown that boys who come from abusive families will also become abusive.
“To break the vicious cycle of domestic violence, it is important to ensure that guardians behave first so that their children can emulate them.”
Youth and gender specialist Tonderai Muzira said guardians should not regard their children as passive on domestic issues since they start learning from an early age.
He said although women and girls were the major victims of GBV, children of both sexes from families experiencing domestic violence were facing behavioural and psychological problems.
“Some parents have a tendency of undermining the capacity of children to learn certain behaviours at a young age,” Muzira said.
“However, children master some immoral behaviours and it may be difficult to change their characters when they are grown-ups. That is why it is important to adopt the catch-them-young policy and conscientise children on the effects of GBV,” he added.