DODOMA: A TOTAL of 294,661 women and young people have been empowered through the Mwanamke Imara Project to curb gender-based violence, strengthening their participation in leadership and governance as well as increasing their access to justice.
The three-year project which is funded by the USAID aims at addressing violence and structural discrimination against women and young people in Mbeya, Njombe and Kilimanjaro regions.
The project, which concludes in December this year, is implemented by a consortium of Tanzania Women Lawyers’ Association (TAWLA), Women in Law and Development in Africa WiLDAF, Tanzania Network of Legal Aid Providers – TANLAP and Kilimanjaro Women Information Exchange Community – KWIECO.
Speaking during a review meeting, the Project Manager, Mary Richard, said through a number of interventions they managed to empower women and young people to overcome stumbling blocks in social, economic, political development as well as cultural life.
She mentioned a number of factors that contributed to violence against women and girls in the country including ineffective systems of accessing justice, limited access to resources and economic instability at the family level.
Other factors were outdated social norms, non-involvement of women and young people in decision-making processes, and low levels of awareness among women and young people on their rights and how to counter violence.
On her party, TAWLA’s Executive Director Tike Mwambipile, who is a lead party in the Mwanamke Imara project, said they have increased women and girls’ access to justice on issues based on inheritance, land and property rights, as well as on gender-based violence.
Moreover, she said, women and young people’s participation in leadership, decision-making structures and governance also increased.
The project has strengthened women and youth economic groups with enhanced access to information and control over resources by financing the women groups to undertake economic projects.
On his part, USAID Project Management Specialist, Mr Adam Lingson said they injected 4 million US dollars in the project for active participation of women and youths in roundtable discussion as well as to increase women’s access to resources, education, information and decision making.
Opening the review meeting, Director of Gender Department in the Ministry of Community Development, Gender, Women and Special groups, Mr Badru Rwegarulira expressed government’s commitment to addressing gender based violence and other challenges facing women and youths.