PM pushes for research to address GBV

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has reminded institutions of higher learning to conduct research that will help find solutions to gender-based violence (GBV).

Speaking during the opening of a national conference in ending violence against women and children held at the Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE) yesterday, Mr Majaliwa implored all municipal councils countrywide to form defence and security committees that would mainly deal with gender-based violence and also allocate an adequate budget for it.

The conference was organised by Children Dignity Forum (CDF) under the sponsorship of Swiss Embassy in collaboration with C-SEMA and DUCE.

He said gender-based violence against children and women in the country was still a problem despite efforts made by the government and other stakeholders to eradicate it.

He called on other universities to follow the example of DUCE in conducting research that would help bring about positive change in society and solve the problem of genderbased violence against women and children.

According to Mr Majaliwa, gender-based violence against women and children is a global problem that requires collaboration to eradicate it.

“Tanzania is one of the countries that have signed and ratified various international instruments and it aims at protecting women and children against all acts of violence, while implementing the NPAVAWC 2017/18, 2021-2022 target to prevent violence against women and children in all areas.

He advised law enforcers to ensure they protected women and children against all incidents of violence.

For his part, Deputy Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Faustine Ndugulile, said they had been collaborating with various stakeholders, including security authorities that had facilitated the establishment of the gender desk that listened to complaints and provided assistance to women and children.

CDF Executive Director Koshuma Mtengeti said the conference aimed at discussing how to end gender-based violence against women and children from family level.

He said the conference involved various stakeholders, including national leaders, religious leaders, activists and institutions of higher learning as well as researchers from various parts of the country.

Tanzania has a high level of gender-based violence against women and children, including early marriage, early pregnancy, female genital mutilation (FGM), gender discrimination and sexual harassment despite efforts made.

According to statistics from demographic health in 2015/16, the number of girls getting pregnancy under 15-19 years old increased to 27 per cent in 2015 from 23 per cent of 2010.

Either statistics show that 40 per cent of women aged between 15 and 49 are victims of physical violence since the age of 15 years. Studies reveal 50 per cent of married women are the victims of sexual, physical and feeling violence.

Mr Mtengeti said according to 2011’s violence against children report issued by Unicef, about 28 per cent of girls and 13 per cent of boys had been victims of gender-based violence before reaching 18 years old.

The report also reveals that 70 per cent of the girls and boys have suffered physical violence and a quarter of them have suffered mental violence.

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