Sexual harassment, assault, and abuse towards women have been a significant issue around the world in today’s news. Due to the patriarchal system that currently runs the human society, change is now upon us.
Starting in Kenya, East Africa, a program in secondary school called Your Moment of Truth, taught by Njangiru and other instructors teaches young boys aged 14-18 about consent, challenging rape myths, sex education, and how to intervene when they are witnesses of an assault.
The program was founded in 2006 by a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization called No Means No Worldwide (NMNW), in Nairobi, Kenya, by Lee Paiva. NMNW is a global rape prevention organization with a mission to end sexual violence against women and children.
According to statistics globally, 35% of women have experienced a form of sexual violence in their lifetime, and Africa’s percentage is increased by 10%. Since the program has begun, rape incidents in the practicing countries have dropped by 50%.
“In African society, men have been brought up with the belief that women have nothing to say, that men are the priority,” Niangiru stated. “So we try first to change that mentality.” (BBC)
For many years the women of Kenya have been suffering from violent attacks
Activists and feminists around the world have been trying to prove to governments that it is not about the way a women dresses or her behavior to be the cause a rape incident. It is the attitude and beliefs of women which boys are taught that causes them to be abusive.
Niangiru told sources throughout his years of changing young boys minds against girls and women, it has forced them to open up about their personal concerns and problems. They ask for advice to help them act accordingly when they find themselves in various situations with girls.
“In African society, men have been brought up with the belief that women have nothing to say, that men are the priority,” Niangiru explains. “So we try first to change that mentality.”
Due to the African mentality, girls were finding themselves being abused by their boyfriends and male friends. Your Moment of Truth began to include girls in separate courses to practice preventive actions and physical skills, which taught them different ways to say no as well as fight off attackers.
Since 2006, NMNW programs have helped 300,000 boys and girls to prevent rape in Kenya and Malawi. The organization has proposed to have more outlets in other parts of Africa starting with Uganda.
With excellent results, the program has proven that it is best to change the attitude men have against women at a young age. Unlike in the United States, where men begin to acquire positive attitudes towards women in college settings.
Each day we are getting closer to a society where men will not have a negative attitude towards women.
BBC- Teaching boys that ‘real men’ would stop rape
Stanford Medicine- In Kenya, Program changes male attitudes about sexual violence, study finds
Photo Credit: Alex Mcbride (BBC)