Thursday, 15 December 2016 13:30

TANZANIA: Dar moves against gender violence

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Dar es Salaam, 14 December 2016 -- FOR the first time in history, Tanzania yesterday launched a National Plan of Action to end violence against women and children (2017-2022) that will provide a comprehensive and coordinated response to the prevention of violence.     

The plan cuts across all levels, sectors and regions. It commits to address discriminatory legislation and will ensure national laws comply with international conventions on the rights of women and children.

It highlights the need for a multi-sectoral approach by proposing interventions ranging from household economic strengthening, women’s economic empowerment and access to justice for survivors and victims.

It further analyses the engagement of parents and caregivers in ending violence and ending violence against children in schools.
Before launching the plan, the Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elders and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, said as part of implementing the plan children’s protection desks will be formed in all primary and secondary schools. “Children-to-children sodomy cases in the country are increasing every day.

We believe that through these desks, they will get assistance once they experience such incidents. They are places where they can report the incidences and get assistance,” she noted Ms Mwalimu further said that for the plan to be successful, men should support it in which male network teams will be formed in each ward to assist in eliminating violence.

Tanzania is the first pathfinding country in Africa under the new Global Partnership to prepare a plan to end violence against children.

Its implementation will amount to 267bn/- in the first five years and for the first year 2017/18, more than 29.4bn/- will be needed. The Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Philip Mpango, said it was high time for Tanzania to make efforts in eliminating violence against women and children.

Dr Mpango said a recent study estimated that the cost of violence against women and girls in 2013 could be as high as 11.2 per cent of the global economy with intimate partner violence accounting for 5.2 per cent of the total figure. He further said that there was a growing global consensus that violence against women and girls was a huge obstacle to overall sustainable development and growth that require a coordinated collaborative approach to address multi-sectoral concern.

Dr Mpango noted that the National Bureau of Statistics findings of 2012 showed that 51.3 per cent of all Tanzanians were women and 51.1 per cent were children under 18 years in which 75 to 90 per cent of food crops were grown by women.
UN Tanzania Resident Coordinator, Mr Alvaro Rodriguez, said global evidence shows that toxic stress due to violence during childhood impacted on brain, learning and lifelong physical and mental health.

“Globally, the economic impact and cost of physical, emotional and sexual violence against children is estimated to potentially be as high as 8 per cent of global GDP,” he said.

Mr Rodriguez said UN and its agencies was eager to accompany implementation of the plan which will require adequate funding, resource mobilisation and collaboration from all key ministries, agencies, local government authorities and other players across the country.

An important feature of the National Plan of Action is that it calls for comprehensive protection system and emphasizes the need for increased engagement of men and boys. It also addresses social and cultural norms and is budgeted in the national budget

By Hilda Mhagama

Source: Daily News

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