Thursday, December 10, 2015
UN agency to build capacity for law enforcers to curb GBV.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has pledged to continue supporting Tanzania in the ongoing fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV) including building capacity for law enforcers. It renewed its commitment to support sexual and reproductive health programmes and protect the rights of women by among other things, engaging men and community leaders to change the discriminatory attitudes and social norms that allow abuse to persist. UNFPA Representative Dr Natalia Kanem said on Wednesday this week in Dar es Salaam during the commemorations of the 16 days of activism for ending Violence against Women and Girls that it is upon law enforcers, judiciary and police to appropriate and timely respond to the matter (GBV). “In most countries, fewer than four in 10 survivors of such violence seek help,” she noted.“ Globally, over 140 million girls and women have undergone some form of female genital mutilation. In developing countries, one in every three girls is married before reaching 18, and one in nine before 15,” she said. She went on to clarify that violence against women and girls includes domestic and sexual violence, human trafficking and harmful practices, such as forced child marriage, gender-based infanticide and female genital mutilation which negatively affects women physically, sexually and mentally and can results into death.
The negative consequences are not only on women but also their families, the community and the country at large. They also cause tremendous costs, from greater health care and legal expenses and losses in productivity, impacting national budgets and overall development. Themed: “From Peace in the home to Peace in the world: Make Education Safe for All” the commemorations advocacy on ending violence against women should be a priority for every human and not only a women’s issue alone since it affects all people. “As the dignity and wellbeing of humanity is at risk, peace, security and sustainable development will remain out of reach,” she said. The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Community Development Gender and Children, Sihaba Mkinga commented that GBV is a violation of fundamental human rights and a major obstacle to development, a national challenge that needs to be tackled from all angles and at different levels, from family to community, national, regional and international levels. She said implications of GBV on women and girls are enormous and lead to health problems and death. She said available data shows that 44 percent of ever married women have experienced physical or sexual violence by their partners. One-third of Tanzanian women aged 15-49 experience physical violence in a year, according to surveys. They experience sexual, physical, emotional and psychological torture. “It is obvious, child marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM) and other forms of GBV deny girls and women right to education and the right to good health and economic growth,” she added. She acknowledged that various government organs have been tirelessly fighting against the issue, including introduction of over 400 gender desks in key department areas. Additionally, the government is signatory to various regional and international agreements on human rights and the Protocol on the Protection and Prevention of Sexual Violence on Women and Children in the Great Lakes Member States, 2006, to protect the rights of women and girls.