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Think Equal aims to create a gender-equitable South Africa

17 September 2019 6:51 PM
Tags:
Discrimination against women
Commission of Gender Equality
Leslee Udwin
gender-based violence
Equality
Filmmaker Leslee Udwin is on a mission to teach children to love and value other human beings.

Leslee Udwin did a fascinating documentary called India's Daughter, based on the high-profile 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder of 23-year-old Jyoti Singh who was a physiotherapy student.

Students took to the streets to protest, much like what South Africans did at home in the past few weeks, with a focus on gender-based violence.

Inequality is an ongoing challenge that most South Africans try to overcome.

Udwin has formed a new movement called Think Equal to tackle inequality and to teach children to love and value other human beings.

She joins Joanne Joseph on the Afternoon Drive show on the line from Ethiopia.

It is shocking, in fact, that we have never done this before. We have kind of been sleep-walking through the science on this. New scientists have been incredibly clear that is an optimal window of opportunity that we have during which we can inform actually and nurture attitudes and behaviours.

Leslee Udwin, Founder - Think Equal

That window ends, foundationally speaking, at six. That early.

Leslee Udwin, Founder - Think Equal

There are forces at work in this world which have rather evil designs and they have been ensuring that three-year-old boys are being radicalised in particular ways that serve the purpose of particular sects or political alliances.

Leslee Udwin, Founder - Think Equal

This is an awakening to say: What is education? What are we doing? How are we teaching our children to love each other, to respect each other, to value each other and to consider each other equal? We are not this at all and we are foregoing this golden opportunity we have during the early years to actually lay the foundation for positive outcomes in life.

Leslee Udwin, Founder - Think Equal

When I sat interviewing rapists in jail cells, for 31 hours, I understood absolutely that there was an inevitability about what they did but because no one had intervened in the early years, they grew up with this entrenched notions of what a good girl is, what a bad is, what a girl is, how much she's worth.

Leslee Udwin, Founder - Think Equal

The thing that really lit the spotlight for me and shone it on education being the solution, was [former president Nelson] Mandela. His wisdom is mostly responsible for the foundational thinking of Think Equal.

Leslee Udwin, Founder - Think Equal

Udwin says she had realised that only one of the rapists had finished secondary school and therefore thought that lack of education had something to do with the violent brutality. I then interviewed their lawyers and they were uttering things that were worse than what the rapists had done, making rapists sound like angels.

She realised it was the education we did not have that was the problem. Having stayed in South Africa for 10 years, she remembered Mandela saying education is the most powerful weapon we have to change the world.

She also remembered Mandela saying: "No child is born hating another human being."

Listen below for more...


This article first appeared on 702 : Think Equal aims to create a gender-equitable South Africa


17 September 2019 6:51 PM
Tags:
Discrimination against women
Commission of Gender Equality
Leslee Udwin
gender-based violence
Equality

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