DEPUTY Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Tulia Ackson has urged the public to join efforts in the battle against violence on women.
The Deputy Speaker particularly condemned Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) widely practised against girls because it is contrary to human rights. She said the government had taken various measures to combat such practices. Even the parliament had passed a law to check the act of female circumcision in the country.
Dr Ackson made the remarks in Dar es Salaam on Thursday night when she was a guest of honor during a seminar working to end FGM. The seminar was organized by Italian Embassy at their residency. Various people including a delegation of European Union (EU) in Tanzania and Miss Tanzania 2016/2017 Diana Lukumay attended the seminar.
"I know it is very difficult to fight this battle of violence against women and girls - in particular the practice of FGM - because it is part of the traditions and customs of the culture in some of our tribes... but we can't give up the fight," Dr Ackson stressed.
The Italian Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Roberto Mengoni, said Italy was firmly committed to create an enabling environment for coordinate and comprehensive action to end FGM and other forms of violence against women and girls.
"We strive for a world where women and girls are empowered and able to make informed choices about their lives, a world where women and girls are free from all forms of gender-based violence, in particular female circumcision. We must all enhance efforts to eradicate this practice," he said.
According to the Head of Delegation of the European Union in Tanzania, Mr Roeland Van de Geer over 200 million girls and women have suffered from FGM across the world, including 500,000 living in Europe. He claimed that every day over 8,000 girls are at the risk of being subject to this practice.
"We must put an end to this damaging practice which violates the human rights, dignity and physical integrity of girls and women," he added. He said in Tanzania, the EU is determined to support the government and civil society to combat violence against women and children. There are currently five ongoing projects funded of more than 10b/- by the European Union.
At the same occasion, in her presentation, a Special Seats MP in the National Assembly, Ms Fatma Hassan Toufiq, who is also an activist and has been working to end FGM said Tanzania is among 29 countries in Africa that practice FGM.
It is estimated that 7.9 million girls and women have undergone FGM.
According to her, Manyara Region was leading in the FGM practice with 58 per cent followed by Dodoma with 47 per cent, Arusha- 41 per cent, Mara -32 per cent, Singida -14 per cent, Kilimanjaro - 10 per cent, Morogoro - 09 per cent, Iringa - 07 per cent, Coast Region - 05 per cent and Dar es Salaam 04 per cent. The rest regions are below 1 per cent.