Pretoria: The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has called on men to use the International Men’s Day to reflect on the challenges they face relating to reproductive health issues.
“Society needs not only healthy women, but also healthy men to defeat the scourge of gender inequality. The CGE therefore wishes that on this day, men would seek more opportunities to elevate matters of their reproductive health to a higher level,” the CGE said in a statement.
South Africa will on 19 November 2015 join hands with 50 other countries to celebrate International Men’s Day, held under the theme: “Working to expand reproductive options for men”.
This year’s theme seeks to forge collective effort within society to address issues of reproductive health for men as individuals, fathers, brothers, husbands and partners.
There are numerous challenges that affect men’s reproductive health not only around the world but also in South Africa and men often do not receive the necessary attention and support needed to deal with these challenges.
“Issues such as family planning, limited choices relating to reproductive health issues, sexual health and safe sexual practices are often more critical that society is aware of in determining the life chances of men.
“In our journey to promote healthy relations between men and women, the CGE is convinced that more attention needs to be given to issues that affect men’s reproductive with the aim of expanding the choices available to men,” CGE said.
Studies show that men tend to neglect matters relating to their reproductive health.
“Men, like women also suffer from health related conditions and illnesses such as depression, hypertension, cancer, diabetes, gender based violence, sexually transmitted illnesses (including HIV/AIDS infections), and yet studies have shown that men are generally more likely than women to refuse, ignore advice on health related matters or be reluctant to visit health care facilities such as clinics and hospitals until very late to seek medical assistance.
“Due to ignorance or patriarchal stereotypes and unrealistic notions of manhood, men are often under pressure not to succumb to ill-health or show signs of physical incapacity, lest this is seen as a sign of weakness – often regarded as undesirable in a man,” the CGE highlighted.
The commission called on society in general, particularly institutions like media, faith based organisations, health care facilities, traditional leadership structures and civil society organisations, to work with men and encourage healthy attitudes towards men’s reproductive health, whether in the workplace or around the home and family.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS