MINISTER for Development, Children, Gender, Women and Special Groups, Dr Dorothy Gwajima, has asked teachers, parents and government officials to cooperate with institutions, communities and development stakeholders in eradicating gender violence against children.
Dr Gwajima made the call recently when she visited development projects and women’s economic empowerment programs carried out by BRAC Tanzania.
She commended BRAC Tanzania for the efforts it made to prepare various development programmes, including education and development for children which helped prepare them for primary school.
“The efforts carried out by BRAC are crucial in protecting children from sexual violence when their parents go for production activities, so it is a lesson for other institutions to find ways of supporting the government efforts in protecting children.
“I know you (BRAC) have done a lot in this community, especially in the area of education and development programme for children, it has helped in protecting them from sexual violence and this should be looked at with a wider eye, therefore the government is grateful for your sacrifice,” she said.
In addition, she said statistics show that many children were subjected to sexual violence, in which 40 per cent takes place in schools.
“It is high time for teachers to collaborate with parents to ensure that they provide common education to children and not be afraid to speak up once they are subjected to violence,” said.
She further instructed social welfare officers to stop staying in their offices and rather they should go to communities and provide education to the lower levels on sexual violence to eradicate the problem.
Dr Gwajima also praised the institution for empowering women economically, where they provided credit services to small and medium-sized women entrepreneurs.
On her part, the BRAC Tanzania Director, Ms Suzane Bipa said her institution marked 15 years of operation in Tanzania with great success.
“We are proud that BRAC is marking 15 years here in Tanzania and 50 years globally since it started in Bangladesh in 1972,” said Ms Bipa, adding that over the years they have been able to provide various developmental services to the people in parallel with the provision of women’s empowerment through group loans.
Bipa said the institution has more than 110 care and development centers for kids where they provide guidance to them before they go to primary school as well as providing women’s empowerment services in 25 regions of the country.