Tanzania: NGO Wages Anti FGM Campaign in Dodoma

A NON Governmental Organisation (NGO)-Reaching the Unreachable Tanzanian (RUT), says it has reached nearly 1,000 women and girls in Dodoma in its new initiative that aims to rescue girls from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Dubbed 'FGM Free Generation Project' (FFGP), the one-year programme under the auspicious of Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) focuses on freeing societies from the bondage in Kondoa and Kongwa Districts, where the crime is high in the group.

FGM comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injuries to the female organs for non- medical reasons. Such practices are defined as violence against the right of sexual reproductive health of women and girls.

The Organisation's Director of Policy Research, Monitoring and Advocacy, Richard Senkondo said his NGO reached 550 girls and women first in the areas.

He noted that they have decided to execute the project in Dodoma after grim statistics showed high prevalence of the illegal cut in different parts in the region without immediate address.

"The Tanzania Demographic Health Survey (2015-2016) shows that Dodoma is the second region in the country in FGM practices... still many projects to end such violence have been implemented in other regions, but Dodoma region has always been alienated," said Mr Senkondo.

Elaborating, he said the project was using constructive and friendly approaches in efforts to eliminate the long-standing malpractice to zero, especially through awareness-raising campaigns.

Moreover, he added, to eliminate the violence from the grassroots levels, the project was also focusing on identifying perpetrators and educating them, besides assisting them to venture into different Alternative Income Generating Activities (AIGAs) by providing them with initial capitals.

"In many areas, we have established that the perpetrators popularly known as Ngariba are fueling the gender-based violence (GBV) in order to eke out a living, where often they are paid at least 5,000/- as a traditional local believes also supports them," he said.

According to him in rural areas, due to the tradition, the FGM is taken as a mechanism that reduces prostitution among women and girls:

"Societies in rural areas embrace the negative notion that the practice plays a major role in discouraging girls and women from engaging in prostitution," he observed.

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