WOMEN in Law and Development Africa (WiLDAF) has called on the community to stand together in ending gender based violence (GBV) and create a safe environment for all young girls and women.
The remarks were given on Wednesday by WiLDAF National Coordinator, Advocate Anna Kulaya when speaking during a multi sector dialogue on strengthening response, support and referrals to GBV survivors which was attended by various non-government organizations and government officials.
She said for a very long time people have been placing blame of how women are treated in the society on the women themselves, seeing the group as people endowed with misfortune, including being subjected to violence.
"It is heartbreaking to see that the places that should be safe for young women and children everywhere, such as their homes and schools are the exact places where they face the most dangerous and common acts of violence," said the advocate.
She added: "It is up to each one of us to bring about change we want to see, and we can do it with our actions, no matter how small they may seem to be, one step taken is better than none, so let us put our foot forward in creating a future free from gender based violence and a world safe for all young girls and women."
She said over the course of 16 days and going forward, WiLDAF received a lot of support from embassies of Ireland, Denmark, ILO, UN Women, UNFPA, so that MKUKI coalition through WiLDAF could be able to increase the visibility of campaigns and amplify voices for bold action to address GBV in all spheres of life.
Ireland Ambassador to Tanzania, Adrian Fitzgerald said there are immense number of challenges in supporting the survivors of GBV and ensuring quality services are available, including effective access to justice.
He said Ireland is committed to promote gender quality across the country as they recognize GBV as a violation of human rights in their new international policy.
"Ireland commits to intensifying work on preventing and responding to GBV through support for Irish and international stakeholders," he said.
He said here in Tanzania the embassy is working to support gender equality and address gender based violence across their work, and this includes commitment to strengthening capacity of the health system, social welfare and the criminal justice system to better respond to those suffering from GBV.
"In Kigoma, we are working with UN agencies to empower adolescents and young people to realize their rights and ensure access to quality sexual and reproductive health services as well as gender based violence prevention and support services to survivors," said the Irish ambassador.
He went on to add that the society must strengthen reporting, investigation and prosecution mechanism through building capacity of key criminal justice institutions to manage GBV cases as well as strengthening coordination across the criminal justice system.