By Nyasha Mutena
Gender stereotyping of females in the media particularly females almost half naked, and commoditising them as vessels needs to end as dignity of females needs to be upheld, Women Affairs, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister, Hon Stembiso Nyoni has said.
Her call comes at a time when teenage pregnancies, drug use and prostitution among other social defects are on overdrive due to wrong information circulating on social media
Hon Nyoni emphasised that the media can shape attitude.
“Studies done have shown that some films, programmes and social media being watched by our children and adults are influencing violence and sexual immorality and families need to guard against this kind of influence as it leads to waywardness. The digital technology should be to embrace positive social norms within families. The more stable the family environment for a child is, the more likely they will be healthier both mentally and physically,” she said.
Minister Nyoni stipulated that the elderly have a role to inculcate the correct attitude by creating conducive operating environment and unity of purpose in the families. Also, she bemoaned the ongoing rampant drug use and prostitution being done by young people.
“The digital technology used effectively should be a source of information to prop up families as there is wealth of data which needs to be properly mined into useful nuggets for assimilation by children and adults. Drug abuse amongst family members and especially amongst the youths, boys and girls its very disturbing and it is rearing its ugly head contributing to the destruction of families and the future leaders of our country,” said Hon Nyoni.
She implored law enforcement agents to intensify a crackdown on the drug syndicates as innocent boys and girls are being introduced to this menace resulting in girl child pregnancies and also resulting in them not growing up morally upright.
“The devastating effects of the dangerous substances being taken by our children and some family members are worrisome as some are committing criminal offences under the influence of drugs and the family is under serious attack due to this. The social fabric is breaking down as the family is the pillar of this. Teenage pregnancies are on the rise in our country and this has worsened challenges and has had an effect on their reproductive health, school drop outs, poverty and a gloom future.
“Drug abuse, gender based violence especially domestic violence, poverty, misuse of media both electronic and print and work/family balance are the five main challenges bedeviling our families and I call upon all relevant stakeholders to come together and address these challenges so as to enhance on family unity, safety and create a safe haven for all the family members,” She added.
Secretary in the Ministry Women Affairs, Small and Medium Enterprises, Mr Matshiya said these celebrations are there to help families increase their mental horizons. It will help the nation adopt and adapt the best cultural ethos and utilize digital technology for positive growth. They will aid in bringing up family members who are disciplined and morally upright. This is a virtue to be emulated.
Speaking during the same occassion, Deputy Minister, Hon Mhlanga said;
“To the Honourable Provincial Ministers of State; You have been given the button stick/Mapiwa chitsvambe/Ngilinika ingqobe to take the message to where people are. I therefore feel proud hereafter, that you will, based on this National Launch, find yourselves in an enhanced active mode concerning the Provincial and Districts commemorations”.