Battle against GBV gets 7.58bn/- impetus

THE fight against sexual and gender-based violence in the country has received a boost after the government of Tanzania and Germany through its German Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ) signed a three million Euros (about 7.58bn/-) grant agreement to support the course.

Identified as ‘Access to Justice for Women and Children/Society in Action for Equality (SAFE)’, the project aims to identify legal, institutional and social factors that make it difficult for members of the groups affected by violence to access justice.

The project is also envisioned to improve service offered by government entities including the police and non-governmental actors such as legal aid units to assist victims of GBV as well as raise more awareness on the topic among members of communities in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma and Tanga Regions.

Speaking at the event in Dar es Salaam, on Wednesday, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Constitutional and Legal Affairs Ms Mary Makondo disclosed that the project intends to achieve legal empowerment and to protect women and children from gender-specific discrimination and violence, thereby promoting gender equality in the country.

Besides, women and children will get an opportunity to improve access to responsive and accountable justice and human protection mechanisms enabling them to demand their rights, ultimately reducing GBV cases.

“As we sign this implementation agreement today, somewhere in this country a woman or a child is being abused, beaten, assaulted or terrorised. They face this violence on the streets, at school, on campuses, at work and places of worship worst of all in their homes,” said Ms Makondo.

“We should ask ourselves; how long should this go on? Now is the time to say ‘enough is enough’ we are all concerned. We should change our attitude and create a society in which women and children and women enjoy their safety, dignity and respect.”

The PS outlined among other bold measures undertaken by government to fight the problem including introducing policies, directives and strategies including implementation of the National Plan of Action to end Violence Against Women and Children.

She said recently the ministry launched the Mama Samia Legal Aid Campaign which aims to reach all marginalized people including women and children with a key agenda to end GBV.

For his part, GIZ Country Director Dr Mike Falke observed that GBV is a reality which needs to be addressed in all countries including Tanzania, highlighting on crucial preconditions to make the implementation of the project a success key being encouraging ownership.

Dr Falke also indicated other projects which are in the pipeline including re-enforcing the joint efforts towards strengthening human rights and legal and also planning on the digital centre for gender and human rights.

He said the digital centre will help tackle challenges of violence and other misconducts in the internet, a new development seen in many countries more and more.

“The successful and impactful implementation of the project is the main focus,” stressed the Director.

The German Ambassador to Tanzania, Ms Regine Hess stressed that GBV was not a Tanzanian problem but rather a worldwide pandemic, expressing the country’s commitment to support Tanzania to fight the disgrace.

He said they recognizing that interdisciplinary approaches combining art, media and law can contribute greatly toward strengthening human rights awareness and fighting SGBV.

That can be done through creative formats including film, theatre and collaboration with media, state and non-state actors will be able to impart knowledge to the community,” she said.

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