Tanzania: CSOs Root for More Awareness to Curb GBV

CIVIL Society Organisations (CSOs) have said more focus on public education is needed for members of the public to be aware of the introduced national plan of action (NPA-VAWC) to end violence against women and children.

They suggested this yesterday during the closing of the annual reflection meeting on the implementation of the NPA-VAWC organised by Women in Law and Development Africa (WiLDAF).

Ms Jacqueline Mollel from Tanzania Network of Legal Aid Providers (Tanlap) said many Tanzanians were unaware of the plan, which she said hindered its effective implementation, adding that joint efforts were needed to raise public about the existence of the plan.

"There are some people who implement NPA-VAWC without knowing it so if such kind of people are informed about it, I am sure they will do more because they will be sure that they are supporting government efforts," she noted.

Ms Rose Sarwatt from Tanzania Widows Association (TAWIA) said in order for the NPA-VAWC to be fully implemented it was important for members of the public to know its existence and importance.

She said despite the fact that the government had already put in place directives on how to form committees to protect women and children all over the country, many district councils and municipal councils still lagged behind in the implementation of NPA-VAWC.

She said a big challenge in the implementation of NPA-VAWC was lack of public awareness about the existence of the plan and appealed to the government and CSOs to move all around the country and educate members of the public about the plan.

"The good news is that in many district councils NPA-VAWC is known, but none of them has set aside a budget for running the committees to protect women and children because they haven't seen the importance of doing so. We need to reach them and inform them about the importance of the committees," she said.

Ms Ester Mongi from the World Vision said the aim of NPA-VAWC was to form committees for the protection of women and children all around the country, but she wondered whether the government had set aside a budget to rum them.

She said the government was not doing enough in the formation of those committees in all regions because there was evidence that many of the existing ones were established by CSOs which was not sustainable.

"There is a need for the government to see the importance of these committees and set aside a budget to run them," she said.

She said the committees should start from the grassroots because it was where many cases of violence against women and children occurred.

"If those committees start from village and street levels and if they are well funded they can help reduce gender-based violence which seems to increase and the victims are mostly women and children," she said.

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