Real men don't beat
men's group calls for peace in the home
Stabroek News
April 17, 2004

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Purposeful: Executive members of Men Of Purpose (MOP) get their last minute briefing from President Frederick Cox (fourth from left) before the formal launching of the group. (Jules Gibson photo)

"Our women must begin to smile brighter from today, for something good is about to happen, men are beginning to become more responsible," Frederick Cox President of the new group, Men Of Purpose (MOP) declared last evening.

However, in delivering the feature address at the launching at the Hotel Tower, Minister of Labour, Dale Bisnauth advised the new group that their task was great as violence was deeply ingrained in the society.

Bisnauth told the group that violence has been a way of life for some who use it to push persons to perform at their behest be it in the homes or schools. Violent behaviour has been internalised as an accepted norm to govern families and societies.

"But we have to change that, violence is not the way out," said Bisnauth, who is also a pastor.

Speaking directly to the group, Bisnauth said its formation was coming at a very crucial time in the country's history where violence of all forms was rampant.

The minister charged the group to oppose all forms of macho behaviour and sexist statements and encouraged them to believe in a woman's reproductive freedom and her right to control her own body. He suggested too that MOP should oppose all forms of negative stereotypes in advertisements and films denigrating women.

Bisnauth encouraged the group to forge good links with the religious organisations, adding that it could very well find the much needed support from them.

Cox, who is also the Executive Director of the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association (GRPA), reported that in February, Minister of Human Services, Bibi Shadick threw out the challenge to form such a group to stem the tide of domestic, physical and emotional abuse.

He said on March 1, MOP was formed, but its name was troublesome. Cox said the acronym MOP did not go down well with some persons who felt that some men were known to have mistreated their spouses using mop sticks. He added that others felt the symbol of a mop was not suitable since whenever a mop was worn out it was thrown away. Cox said there was some debate on the name, but they managed to retain it, explaining that the purpose of a mop is to clean out all the ills perpetrated by men on women.

Acknowledging that their work will not be easy, Cox said they have found fifteen strong men who have formed the executive body. He said their membership stands at 53 and in time they intend to set up branches in all three counties.

The group's logo depicts a home and shows a man with his wife and child walking toward it.

"MOP will teach fathers how to treat their wives and children. MOP will teach our men to make their home environment peaceful and loving. We don't want any more broken homes and families."

He said all those men who would in time become members of MOP would be taught that women are precious gifts from God and it is an obligation for men to treat them with respect. Membership is open to all men and registration stands at $100, the minimum per month.

In brief remarks, President of the GRPA, Beverly Chan said that she was happy that the seed of MOP germinated at the Ministry of Human Service's Women Affairs Bureau and was delivered at GRPA. She observed that MOP was formed late but not too late.