THE Tanzania Media Women’s Association (TAMWA) and Women Fund Tanzania Trust (WFT) have urged community members to report and speak up in cases of child abuse, discrimination and early marriage.
According to WFT Executive Director Rose Marandu, cases of sexual violence against children in the country are increasing, therefore a collaborative effort to address it is critical.
She made the remarks on Tuesday in Dar es Salaam during commemoration of the tenth International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC).
“TAMWA and WFT have discovered that despite government agencies taking action and strongly opposing such actions against the girl child, incidents of sexual corruption, rape, early pregnancy and harassment are increasingly flourishing, with many suspects including parents, guardians, teachers and their close people who are charged with protecting those children,” she said.
Ms Marandu also stated that the nation witnessed several incidents of sexual violence against girls from July to September of this year, which makes them concerned that education to protect the rights of the girl child may not have reached many.
The UN General Assembly adopted resolution 66/170 on December 19, 2011, and designated October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. The day is devoted to the rights of girls and the specific difficulties that girls face worldwide.
Marked under the theme “Our time is now—our rights, our future” the purpose of recognizing IDGC is primarily to increase public awareness of the problems that girls worldwide suffer, including lack of access to education, inadequate nutrition, forced child marriage, legal rights and medical rights.
Dr Rose Reuben, TAMWA Executive Director said as Tanzania commemorates the day, the community must recognize the girl’s value in development, health, education, economy and their participation in politics.
“If society recognizes the importance of their contribution to girls’ child lives, it will protect them and thus reduce these incidents that undermine their livelihood,” she noted.
She added,” We will not stop, we will not be silent until there is safety for girls in Tanzania,”.
The government created a five-year National Plan of Action to End Violence Against Women and Children (NPAVAWC 2017/18 – 2021/22) to consolidate eight different action plans addressing violence against women and children into a single comprehensive National Plan of Action in order to eradicate violence against women and children in the country.
Meanwhile, Ms Sima Bahous, UN Women Executive Director said while there has been progress in advancing girls’ rights, substantial challenges still remain.
“Poverty, cultural norms and practices, poor infrastructure, violence and fragility continue to raise barriers. Investment in the implementation of girls’ rights remains inadequate, contributing to short-term, siloed approaches that ultimately disadvantage adolescents,” she said
On the IDGC, Ms Bahous stated, “Let us continue our collective work to achieve this and advance the objectives of our common agenda. Girls can and must take the lead, never being left out or behind. This accelerating decade must prioritise girls in all of their diversity. It is now their time, their rights, and their future,”