Thursday, 5 December 2013

Mandela on violence against women

As long as we take the view that these are problems for women alone to solve, we cannot expect to reverse the high incidence of rape and child abuse. Domestic violence will not be eradicated. We will not defeat this scourge that affects each and every one of us, until we succeed in mobilising the whole of our society to fight it. 
That is why today`s march, and the gathering here of men, women and children, is so important. 
We do know that many men do not abuse women and children; and that they strive always to live with respect and dignity. But until today the collective voice of these men has never been heard, because the issue has not been regarded as one for the whole nation. 
From today those who inflict violence on others will know they are being isolated and cannot count on other men to protect them. From now on all men will hear the call to assume their responsibility for solving this problem. 
~ Nelson Mandela, National Men's March, 1997

The obituary machine has already whirred into action to mark Mandela's death, and those more informed about his life and work will doubtless have far more insightful things to say than I could come up with. But I came across this quote the other day and wanted to take this opportunity to highlight his righteousness in other, less well-known areas. There's a lot of fronts in fighting the good fight.