Neglecting the boy child could have serious consequences

Last week, 702 caller Kabelo called into Eusebius McKaiser's show reflecting on the disparities inherited from apartheid.

Without dismissing the plight of young women, he said while it is important to pursue equal rights for women through programmes like 'Take a Girl Child to Work', oftentimes society neglects the young men who make up some of the country's most vulnerable communities.

We need to start empowering women ensuring that they also get to be in those managerial positions...However in us trying to have that pursuit we are forgetting so much about the boy child, we are not even giving a platform for him to understand that, hey this is what happened in the past and this is why we are focused more on the girl child instead of giving you attention....

Kabelo, 702 caller

We not giving them enough space to understand and dissect what is happening.

Kabelo, 702 caller

It was suggested that a neglected boy child 'made invisible' grows up to be a bigger danger to society than girls, and so needs to be taken care of and made conscious of the patriarchy and how better to channel aggression and anger.

Click below to listen to the open line conversation...

In a world that is deeply misogynistic and leaves the black girl child in a more vulnerable position, how do we navigate societal challenges like that of poverty, lack of educational access and abuse without physically and socially ignoring boys?

Kabelo Chabalala is one of the founders of The Young Men Movement which has observed that the boy who has experienced abuse of some form will more likely be subjected to delinquent activities than his female counter part who has experienced almost the same kind of abuse.

It is for this reason they decided to look into how a boy child's world is molded by checking the stereotypes around them.

I am a feminist myself but what I do not want us to get to, is the part where we are flipping the coin.

Kabelo Chabalala, founder of The Young Men Movement

An ignored boy child is more dangerous than an ignored girl child....once the boy child becomes more ignored he becomes even more dangerous to society, we feel so unsafe, so we need to teach him why we want to correct this injustice, that we want to help the girl child be empowered and independent because of the injustice of the past, not just go about it and leave him out.

Kabelo Chabalala, founder of The Young Men Movement

Prof Kopano Ratele from the Institute for Social and Health Sciences at Unisa and author of Liberating Masculinities shared his views.

READ: Is a society of feminist men beneficial for advancing gender equality?

In South Africa, girl children and boy children, the majority of them grew up in the same family... and so if you are not going to give boy children in this country opportunities, you are leaving them to the masses of social forces that may have been created by their father, by a global gender order....

Prof Kopano Ratele, Unisa

In short I think we should be giving girl children this education to be independent, but you have to give boy children an education to be kind, egalitarian , feminists and fantastic.

Prof Kopano Ratele, Unisa

Click below to listen to the full debate.....


This article first appeared on 702 : Neglecting the boy child could have serious consequences


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