Sunday, July 20, 2014

How TWLA is committed to end gender based violence in the country

Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA) has managed to handle over 40,000 Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases in the country since its establishment in 1990, it has been learnt. The trend was revealed last week in Dar es Salaam by the association’s Chairperson Aisha Bade at a launching ceremony of the so-called  Toll free line services’ which would help facilitate information and expand access to legal aid services to more women in the country.  She said that, about 57 percent of all these cases forwarded to the association have been solved and most of them were related with domestic problems as related with issues of matrimonial rights, inheritance rights, land and children rights. Other cases she mentioned included physical, psychological or sexual violence like raping, early marriage, humiliation and assault, adding that according to the records about 400 trained paralegals attend up to more than 4,000 cases in a year. She noted that, despite positive cooperation which has been shown by stakeholders over the fight against women violation in the country, a joint concerted effort is still needed to curb the menace as there is higher rates of the continued cases of violence against women in the country. She elaborated that, despite these efforts her association still falls short in ensuring that justice is accessible efficiently to all vulnerable women in the country with 25 regions bearing the fact that, the association is physically established in 4 regions and further presence in 17 districts in total.

Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA) Chairperson Aisha Bade

The regions are Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Tanga and Dodoma, while districts that includes, Karatu, Monduli,Arusha, Arumeru,Longido, Tanga,Muheza, Mpwapwa, Kongwa, Bahi, Chamwino,Mvomero, Kisarawe, Mpanda erural, Kinondoni,Ilala and Temeke. In view of these shortfalls, the association has introduced Toll free line services systems which will be hosted by two communication companies one for landline and the other one for mobile phones. The two companies are Vodacom telephone company (for cell phone No: 0800 751010) and Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited (TTCL) for the landline No: 0800 110017. The two numbers she said would be used freely to relay messages that would need urgent legal aid from her association so that the vulnerable women groups would be able to disclose information as related with human rights violation and other cases so as to be able to access justice when they need to. “These lines will be useful to clients as their needs will e attended by trained advocates especially recruited for this work where they will not only receive first hand information but also professional legal advice,” she said. She further noted that, depending on the nature of the case, clients may be directed to visit the TAWLA office for further assistance or to the relevant institution, and added that, this service will be available from Monday to Friday from 09:00am to 04:30 pm. The services will be recorded daily in special monitoring forms and follow up will be made monthly on the cases attended. Access to justice still remains to be the most basic human right and hence it is of paramount importance within our country”, she said adding that it is therefore imperative to ensure access to justice as this is actually facilitated by bringing it closer to the people.

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