INTERNATIONAL Women’s Day cerebrations usually marked every March 8, were recently crowned with a stress on the intensification of war for both women and children rights.
What impressed more was the fact that despite being expressed and given prominence as Women’s Day, but still children are not left in isolation in the celebrations.
In other words, the cerebrations of the Day, to some groups, turned to become something we can call ‘Care the Children’.
That was witnessed by some women groups changing the trend and deciding to visit children gatherings instead of participating in the demonstrations.
A case study was at the Tanzania Higher Learning Trade Union (THTU) at Ardhi University (ARU), which cerebrated the day by visiting children who suffer from Cancer-related diseases (Oncology studies) at the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH), and offers some medical equipments and human daily basic needs, including soaps, diapers, bathing shoes, tooth-paste to mention but a few.
In the event, THTU Chairperson, Dr Kerbina Moyo told this paper that the group’s visit to the MNH was a display of continuation of mothers showing and being fond of their children and nurture, regardless of the kids’ biological backgrounds.
“We saw that cerebrating alone through public rallies while our children are in hospitals and other areas in need of help sounded improper.
Even if we can’t meet all their needs, but at-least we have shown our love which tells International Women’s Day intensifies eq ual children protection them that they are not alone, and the community cares for them,” she said, adding that: At no any point of time mothers can be separated from children and that is why even local, regional and international contracts have been signed and speak about women and children protection altogether.
Dr Moyo made the call that, if possible, all cerebrations which involve the mere matching events should be turned into ‘giving back to the community’, let alone the collected funds (for the event) to serve the needy groups, especially children, in heath, education sectors and other areas which need social supports.
The Oncology Assistant Ward In-Charge, Mr Ephraim Kiswaga appreciated the gifts, saying that the children were really in needs of various supports.
Equally, he called upon the public to follow THTU steps, by donating both medical equipment and individual’s basic needs, stressing that: “This kind of patients are forced to stay here for couple of months due to the nature of cancer diseases, whose treatments go step-bystep until one recovers. Their needs are therefore increasing on daily basis, hence, the need of the community support.”
Women in Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute (MOI) felt also touched by lives of cancer children at MNH, and they offered almost the same gifts donated by THTU with the group’s Chairperson, Dr Regina Alexander, expressing that it was the soul of love, forgiveness, compassion, which mothers have to their children, and forced the group to visit the children.
According to her, MOI women group collected over 4m/- for supporting children who suffered from hydrocephalus (big heads) and Spina Bifida (open backs) in the same institute (MOI) and those (with cancers) in MNH.
“No any mother can leave behind her child. It is in that reason we decided to cerebrate the Women’s Day together with our children.
Before anyone else, children need the nurture of mothers as they usual talk the same language, be it by gesture, word, posture or any other signs. In totality, it is only mothers who easily understand the need of the children, at the first hand,” she said.
She stressed the need to help the needy children for whatever someone has, whether big or little, adding that: “not necessarily the support to be in material-form but also comfort and compassion, which express nurture, sometimes more than anything else.”
For those who cerebrated the Women’s Day through marching and other approaches, still the emphasis was for children protection as Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner (RC) Paul Makonda was quoted warning men who have been impregnating women and run away.
The RC said their (men) days were numbered following serious plans which are underway to improve existing laws which will bring the offenders to book.
According to Makonda, such a move follows an exercise which he launched last year to see to it that fathers who have abandoned their children assume their responsibilities and roles as parents.
Mr Makonda disclosed that the exercise bore a lot of fruits in the region, where the exercise saw about 1,900 children being connected to their biological fathers.
He pointed out that in the course of carrying out the exercise, the Child Law was found to possess a lot of discrepancies which are a challenge to most women.
“Based on how crucial the matter is, I formed a special committee in relation to the matter and they have compiled a report which is accompanied by several recommendations which my office will tender to the Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, to work on it,” said Mr Makonda.
He pointed out that once the law is put to practice, men with such tendencies should stay alert because there will be no room for tolerance no matter your status.
The RC emphasised on the issue of parents, especially women to be closely involved in the upbringing of their children by staying with them and following up on their school progress to overcome the growing problem of lack of proper morals in the society.
Mr Makonda pointed out that most parents have left the role of raising their children to house maids, something which prompts most children to involve themselves in weird habits like taking drugs and other unscrupulous habits driven by globalisation.
“If we as a country want the problem of drugs to end, parents, especially women, should assume their full responsibilities,” noted RC Makonda pledged to support 100 female students who were taking science subjects and performed well in their form four and form six examinations to further their studies.
“Female students are faced with a lot of challenges in the country from the schools, including male advances from ‘bodaboda riders’ and social media among others, therefore they need to receive some special treatment for them to overcome the hurdles they face,” he said.