March 12, 2021
One of the ghettos visited by MAGE
Some ghetto youths in the eastern part of Freetown have promised not to use any form of violence against women and girls any longer.
They made the above commitment at the end of a dialogue session organized by Men Association for Gender Equality (MAGE).
On the 9th of March, 2021, MAGE sensitized over fifty ghetto youths at five different locations in the Portee, Rokupa and Wellington Communities. The outreach was part of MAGE’s activities for the commemoration of the International Women’s Day.
The ghetto youth were educated on the three Gender Acts and the Sexual Offenses Acts of 2012 as amended.
Frankly speaking with MAGE at one of the ghettos in Wellington, about nine out of the eighteen youths confessed that their partners can only respect them whenever they beat them up.
According to them, their partners would always offend them so that they could flog them even if they don’t want to.
Female participants in other ghettos complained that, their husbands beat them up whenever they refused them sex.
According to them, they refused their husbands sex as a way of punishing them for wrong doings. They said their husbands have not been respecting their actions. Other men also complained that, women and girls do put on some careless dress in their society and by so doing provoke men to rape them.
Responding to their reasons, one of the Field Officers of MAGE SL, Adama Bockarie, encouraged the men to show love to their partners and desist from every forms of violence against the women.
She referenced provisions of the Domestic Violence Act of 2007 that would make them spend years in jail should they be found guilty of any form of domestic violence.
Another Field Officer, Isatu Mariama Kargbo, called on the men to stop forcing their partners into having sex and encouraged couples or intending couples to discuss their problems amicably.
She encouraged women to stop depriving their partners of sex as a punishment mechanism, but called on them to use a dialogue method to settle their disputes.
She warned the men to desist from any form of sexual harassment as a result of the dress code of women. She said the dress code of women is not an excuse to either rape or sexually harass women and girls.
All the ghetto youths appreciated MAGE for the information and promised to change their attitudes. They promised to respect women and girls and join the campaign for women’s rights.
The Admin Logistics of MAGE, Alex Vandy said he was surprised at the responses from the ghetto boys and said they should carry out robust sensitization among ghetto youths to ensure the rights of women and girls are protected.
Executive Director, MAGE SL, David Tamba Mackieu said they would be planning a full training for ghetto youths in the Portee Rokupa Communities to change their mind-set on violence against women and girls. He described the mentality that women should be beaten to respect men as a serious threat to the campaign for gender equality.