16 Days of Activism runs each year from 25th November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and culminates on 10th December, Human Rights Day. This is an important 16 days during which people and organisations around the world participate through various means to raise awareness of and eliminate the issues of violence faced by women on a daily basis.
Between November 25th and December 30th 2021, Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania worked with the Serengeti District Office (District Community Development Officer, District Social Welfare) and Gender Desk Police Officers to create awareness through:
- Village outreach
These sessions were organised to bring awareness to Mugumu-Serengeti villages such as Itununu, Rung’abure, Manyata, Gesarya, Kebanchabancha, Gwikongo, Merenga, Tamkeri, Mbilikiri and Bisarara which have been identified has having a high number of Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases recently. Our work during this period was focused on educating them on the impact of GBV and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and Alternative Rites of Passage to the community. There were a total of 9,723 men and 15,009 women were reached through the sessions.
A collaborative approach to ending GBV and FGM
Hope for Girls and Women managed to organise a forum in collaboration with Serengeti District Office (District Community Development Officer, District Social Welfare officers), Gender Desk Police, Serengeti District Commissioner and District Judge, which a total of 100 people attended.
The forum attendee list included retired cutters, retired elders of tradition, Digital Champions, church leaders, village executive officers, community members, and other partners. The purpose was to have a dialogue on the best approach to mitigate FGM and GBV by law, in order for communities to abandon these tradition, which hinders the safety of girls and women and their rights.
The discussion was held as dialogue for both sides to share their insight about the situation of GBV and FGM in our community from the District level to the community level. The Dialogue was led by the District Commissioner.
The outcome of the FGM and GBV forum
We all agreed on working closely together to make sure education about the impact of GBV and FGM can be given to the community starting at a family level, church, schools, and even through the media, so that our community can understand the impact of GBV and FGM and the importance of sending their girls to schools.
Police and court officers, village executive officers, and community members were encouraged to work together to ensure all parties are working closely to rebuke GBV and FGM in our community and when such cases appear they have to be resolved without hesitation.
Encouraging girls to stand up and say no
On December 15th 2021, 150 members of Tanzania and Zanzibar Gender Police Desk accompanied by the Regional Police Commander visited Butiama Safe House and spoke to the girls to encourage them to stand up and fight for their equal rights. They shared insight on how we can work together on helping the fight against GBV and FGM in the Mara region.
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