Last updated 2 years ago
We again joined the UNFPA, UN Women and government today in launching a 3 years' #GenderEquality programme financed by Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). The programme aims to strengthen social and economic resilience of some of the furthest-left-behind rural women and adolescent girls in Msalala District, Shinyanga.
In his remarks during the launch ceremony, the KOICA Country Director, Mr Eo said: ‘In the past 5 years we've invested in girls’ education in 5 regions by ensuring they access not only formal learning but also skills development for out of school girls.’
Mr. Eo went on to say that KOICA has also invested in maternal and child health in Tanzania by ensuring mothers do not die during child birth. We want to invest in ending #GBV by ensuring safety of women / girls to boost #GenderEquality in economic activities including the right to own land.
‘Shinyanga is a very special region because it was the first region I visited upon my posting in Tanzania. When I visited the villages here, I was reminded of challenges in villages which are not different from my own. I therefore cannot give up on my quest to invest in people living in villages.’ said Mr. Eo.
KIWOHEDE one of the project’s implementing partners presented 'Mabingwa' girls club where #GBV survivors learn life skills including driving, weaving, tailoring, mechanics, etc. for economic liberation. These efforts in skills-building seek to challenge social norms that continue to lock girls in a cycle of inequality + violence and empower them. The club presented a child marriage play and conducted an onsite dialogue on GBV.
Julie Taylor, Deputy Country Representative of UN Women noted that although women are crucial food producers and contributors to livelihoods, they face challenges in maximizing their production and marketing potentials. This is exacerbated by the gendered norms and practices. Therefore UN Women seek to setup dialogues through community knowledge centres where gender norms and practices that propagate #GBV will be conversed and challenged by both men and women.
Dr. Wilfred Ochan, Officer-in-Charge, UNFPA Tanzania, noted that the programme presents a partnership of commitment – aiming to deliver on the collective result that all partners want to achieve, i.e. a better and more inclusive world for women and girls in Msalala District and Shinyanga Region.
Speaking during the launch, the Guest of Honour and Shinyanga Regional Commissioner Ms. Zainab Telack said, 'I am informed that on this very ground, there shall be built Segese Bus Stop. I am committing my regional administration to ensure that 50% of all kiosks that will be built here are given to women to boost economic equality.'
Ms. Telack underlined the fact that if you invest in women's economic activities, families, communities and the nation will be sure to prosper. While men go out drinking, women remain in the house making sure children have food on the table and are growing up healthy.
She said Msalala is blessed with loads of small-scale mines. These mining sites are known to be breeding grounds for #GBV and violence against women and girls especially, sexual violence. It is Ms. Telack’s hope the project will address girls school drop-out rates, teenage pregnancies and child marriages – all resulting from mining presence.
She urged parents especially mothers, 'As mothers, we spend most time with our children, especially daughters. The responsibility of protecting children against violence lies on parents, especially us, mothers. Mothers please ensure you have strict rules that are followed by your daughters to ensure their safety.'
C-Sema is one of the programme’s implementing partners working specifically on strengthening gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response systems in Msalala District Council.
This story was compiled by C-Sema media team.
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Photo: KOICA Country Director, Mr Eo giving his remarks during the launch in Msalala Shinyanga.