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Society should empathise with men - Rakgare

20 Nov 2023

The society has been encouraged to start treating men equally, just like their female counterparts.

Speaking at the International Men’s Day event in Pitsane on November 17, Minister of Youth, Sport, Gender, and Culture, Mr Tumiso Rakgare, said it was important for the nation, particularly women, to realise that men have feelings too.

He mentioned that recent statistics from Botswana police indicated that, since January, at least 222 men have committed suicide country-wide, compared to only 22 women.

For this reason, Mr Rakgare emphasized the need for the nation to come together and find a solution to this problem.

He referred to research conducted by his ministry in 2018, which revealed that men often end up taking their own lives because they have been raised to believe that sharing their feelings is a sign of weakness.

To combat the alarming suicide rates, Mr Rakgare emphasised the importance of changing this belief and encouraging the boy child, especially, to express their emotions and seek support.

 Mr Rakgare also highlighted the significance of father figures as role models, stating that addressing high male suicide cases should start at the family level.

“We must acknowledge that we can’t raise responsible parents if we keep our distance from them while they are still young,” he said.

 The minister emphasised that if children grow up in a supportive and loving environment, the boy child would feel more comfortable sharing their challenges instead of resorting to suicide. Additionally, he encouraged men to learn to move on from relationship problems instead of taking their own lives.

Dr Edwin Dikoloti, the Minister of Health, added that the high rate of suicide cases could be addressed by promoting open communication and encouraging men to share their feelings with authorities or close family members. “Depression is a painful and slow killer, so it is crucial for individuals to speak up and seek help in a timely manner. 

It’s okay to not be okay,” said Dr Dikoloti. He further noted that recognising and appreciating when one is not okay provided an opportunity for seeking help and allowing for healing. The theme of the event was ‘Zero Male Suicide.’ Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Aobakwe Molefhi

Location : Pitsane

Event : International Men’s Day

Date : 20 Nov 2023