PM launches guidelines  to check GBV

PM launches guidelines to check GBV

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa yesterday launched guidelines for prevention and management of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and sexual harassment at middle and higher learning institutions, which would include, among other things, the establishment of gender desks.

At the national launch of the 16 Days of Activism against GBV in Dar es Salaam, Mr Majaliwa gave five directives to enhance the fight against GBV in the country.

Gender, Child Protection and Public Health Specialist, Dr Katanta Simwanza said the guidelines will be used to enable all institutions and colleges in the country, to establish GBV and sexual harassment desks, which will be made up of a especial committee of 11 people, who will be given special training to deal with such cases.

In a telephone interview with ‘Daily News,’ he remarked, “It also shows how to deal with such matters; in the committee, there will be a desk coordinator, chairperson, and other members.”

According to Dr Simwanza, the committee will be made up of students, community professionals, and members from both teaching and non-teaching staff from relevant institutions.

The guideline, according to him, includes four components: the foundation for a desk set up, regulations and procedures that allow the desks and their infrastructure to exist, an implementation plan, and how to perform evaluation and monitoring.

He said the guideline will also be supported by other agencies wherein every college and institution should have a gender policy, and anti-GBV policy and an HIV-related policy.

“The government has recently prepared an extract that will address victims of violence on how to access services following any violence, as well as how to prevent and recognize hazardous circumstances that may incite violence,” he said.

Dr Simwanza said the coordinators will be provided with child protection training, how to talk to victims and other key factors in ensuring that acts of violence are dealt with effectively.

During the launching, Mr Majaliwa has given several directives, including the establishment of gender desks in primary and secondary schools.

“Higher learning institutions should also establish gender desks and make them known, so that students are aware of them and where they can locate them in the event that they need to file a report,” he said.

Equally, the Premier directed the police force to improve services provided by gender desks, as well as local government authorities to enhance procedures for obtaining information on legal violations, particularly in areas of sexual violence.

He added that the ministry of health must also establish relations with the private sector.

“Let us listen to what people have to say, hear what the private sector is up against, and ensure that the government and the private sector work closely,” Mr Majaliwa said President Samia Suluhu Hassan has already affirmed her commitment to ending GBV and emphasized the necessity of changing attitudes and working together for men and women to develop a peaceful and loving society.

“Our society must create an impetus to ensure that everyone in their positions speaks out and takes action to prevent and eradicate GBV, especially sexual violence, intimate partner violence, rape, early pregnancy and child marriage,” he noted.

The 16 Days of Activism against GBV is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.

Earlier, Anna Kulaya, Director of Women in Law and Development Africa (WiLDAF) and Coordinator of the 16 Days of Activism campaign, said Tanzania, through the Coalition against GBV (MKUKI), has decided to focus on four main areas during the campaign: domestic violence, intimate partner violence, cybercrime, particularly for women, and sexual corruption in higher learning institutions.

“At MKUKI we call on the government to enact GBV Act, because lack of specific laws for violent offences is a major challenge in accessing justice for victims and convicting suspects,” she said.

UN Women Representative, Ms Hodan Addou said voices, experiences, and needs of women and girls must be taken into account, and through various initiatives, including the HeForShe campaign and the engagement of traditional and religious leaders that men and boys have a meaningful role to play in the process.

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