Thursday, April 2, 2015

A local NGO has embarked on movement against domestic gender based violence in its quest to address historical injustice in Kilimanjaro region.



Kilimanjaro HIV/AIDS Control and Prevention Program (MKUKI) says that domestic gender based violence (GBV) is a silent, but deadly social menace mostly affecting women and children.

To start with, Mkuki Executive Director, Linnah Mlay says they have resolved to carry out awareness campaign and so far about 50 the local and clan leaders from nearly 16 villages in Moshi rural district have been reached out.

“Why clan leaders, it is because they are dealing with GBV cases, so we believe if educated, they are better placed not only to decide fairly, but also to spread the message among their clan members” Ms Mlay explains during a workshop held in Himo small town.

She believes that awareness raising, advocacy, and community mobilization with clan as well as local government leaders would help them recognize their roles in responding to GBV and develop strategies to take action.

According to her GBV is a grave reality in the lives of many women in Tanzania. It results from gender norms, social and economic inequities that give privilege to men over women.

“We can no longer pretend that we don’t know that in Tanzania there’s a gender discrimination and gender equity in different facets of life” Ms Mlay says.

Mkuki campaign includes how prevalent gender-based violence is and the ways and extent to which it harms not only women and girls but also men and boys and, furthermore, the country’s developing economy and health and social welfare systems.
Aginatha Rutazaa, trainer says that in most incidents the chagga and Pare tribes handle GBV cases by using traditional systems where women are always the losers.
“By educating clan leaders, then the clan meetings can become the agents of change as far as GBV is concerned” Ms Rutazaa explains.
One of trained clan leader, Michael Shirima, from Kilema village commended MKUKI for coming up with such kind of training package for them because it gives them insights.
In their declaration after training, the clan leaders vowed to do utmost to eradicate not only GBV, but also other harmful traditions.

“We are going to break the silence and dare to be transparent on this issues to both men and women. We will also educate our members on how best can spend incomes to avoid GBV” reads the declaration presented by Ismail Sevuri.

The clan leaders promised to empower their members both men and women on importance of reporting the GBV when occur to them.

They also implored the government to enforce international and local human rights protocols such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 in Paris.

The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled.

 “The government needs to provide education on the harmful effects of GBV and review existing laws on gender violence in a bid to be effective” reads part of their declaration.

Mkuki, an NGO registered way back in 1994 with its catchment area in Kilimanjaro region, has its vision that desire community that is free of new HIV infections and vigilant in upholding equal rights for men and women, as well as those infected and affected by the scourge.

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