THE Alliance of L ocal Authorities of Tanzania (AL AT) has called gender-based violence (GB V) against women and girls a "country's epidemic" that undermines individuals and government's efforts to end poverty and boost shared prosperity.
Speaking at the launch of a programme to prevent genderbased violence in Dodoma and Shinyanga regions, AL AT Chairperson and Mayor for Shinyanga Municipal Council Gulamhafeez Mukadam said "GB V is preventable yet is still rampant in workplaces, households and the society."
AL AT is partnering with the U nited Nations entity for gender equality and empowerment of women-U N Women in the two regions, targeting to prevent gender based violence in marketplaces, an attempt to make public places safer for mothers and children.
One is every three women have experienced gender violence in public transport, workplaces, schools and at home. The violence is far alarming from psychological, health to physical and sometimes death.
The state and non state actors have been working on to promote gender equality, but the challenge is far from being addressed. "These forms of violence are avoidable if we embark on unified solution," he said.
"To begin with, we need to ensure availability of statistics, strengthen security and improve justice systems." He explained that this was why the alliance of local authorities in the country was establishing centres and gender desks in marketplaces to record data but also link victims of violence to legal services and counseling.
According to the official, women in market places endure violence ranging from assault, sexual violence, abusive language, beatings and insults.
Acting U nited Nations Resident Coordinator Dr L eo Zekeng called on the government to comprehensively address gender based violence that he said had long and short term consequences to the nation.
"The U N commends government efforts and reaffirms its support and solidarity in ending violence against women and children in market places.
This is not just part of the sustainable development goal but also Tanzania's development vision 2025," he said.