We have many social issues that we deal with in this country; one of them is youth unemployment. There was a statistic by Stats SA a few months ago that revealed that in this country we have nearly 3 million young people between the ages of 18 – 24, who are neither at work nor in any education training institution.
I was even more worried after reading an article today about gender transformation in higher education that says the number of male students enrolling into higher education has over the years dropped significantly. This means that boys are no longer going into university or other institution of higher learning.
Which got me thinking, what are young men then doing if they are not going into the workplace or university of some kind? Are these the disaffected young people that we read about who hang around possibly becoming involved in gangs and drugs, or other social ill in this country.
Here is the issue, I am a strong supporter of gender equity. My reasons are both for personal and professionally. Personal because I am a Dad to two girls, and I really would like my girls to have the same opportunities as Deryn, my producer’s, sons.
But I don’t think that gender equity should happen at the expense of anyone, because ultimately if we allow that to continue – if we continue to allow these boys to feel despondent and excluded – we are adding to the already overwhelming number of social ills that we have in this country.
We’re creating a problem that we will never have a solution for, so gender equity should never be at the expense of another gender.