A NEW intervention of mobile technology has been adopted in Tanzania to help people access information and save lives as the country accelerate the fight against Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
The Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Taarifa App will play a pivotal role to inform women of their rights as well as locally available support services and provide them with an emergency system to alert community members and peers in case of violence.
The United Nations documents that one in three women and one in six men will experience some form of domestic violence or abuse in their lifetime.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday after launching the App and 16 days of activism against GBV Campaign, Deputy Speaker Dr Tulia Ackson said the application will create awareness about what constitutes GBV.
"We are all aware that GBV has been prevalent in our society for a very long time, thus various interventions are needed to eliminate it. This mobile App will assist many people who are afraid to come out and report such incidents," she said.
Dr Tulia also called upon the police to revisit their decision to place gender desks in police stations as the reports claim that most children are scared to go to such places.
"They (police) should consider stationing them to other friendly areas," she said.
GBV Taarifa is an App that can be easily downloaded and used so that it can help girls and women to alert authorities whenever they feel or perceive themselves to be in a dangerous situation.
The App can be downloaded in smartphones with Android and iOS systems.
According to the 2015/16 Tanzania Demographic Health Survey (TDHS), four in every ten women and girls aged 15 to 49 years have experienced physical violence in their lifetime. Similarly, three in every ten girls are married before their 18th birthday.
Women in Law and Development Africa (WiLDAF) National Coordinator Ms Anna Kulaya said the App has been developed by the coalition against GBV (Mkuki) with support from Ireland.
"This App can provide those impacted a much-needed lifeline to discreet, geo-located information and services. We will, later on, widen our scope to cover those who do not have smartphones," she explained.
She said the 16 Days of Activism against GBV will run from November 25 to the International Human Rights Day on December 10, this year, a campaign launched by the Centre for Women's Global Leadership (CWGL) at its first Women's Global Leadership Institute in 1991.
It has been used worldwide to call for the elimination of GBV.
"During the 16 days, among other things, we will also have a caravan route in various regions to advocate gender desks to be established in universities for students to be free to report incidents of sextortion," she said.
Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Executive Secretary of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), Dr Stergomena Tax, on commencement of the 16 Days of Activism stated that member states recognise GBV as a serious concern due to its multidimensional effects and have adopted regional frameworks with the aim of tackling the phenomenon in a coordinated manner.
"To comprehensively address GBV, SADC member states recently adopted the Regional Strategy and Framework of Action on addressing the malice and the Secretariat is facilitating and coordinating the development and implementation of harmonised actions to eliminate GBV in the region," said Dr Tax.
She further said this year's theme of Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent and Collect is quite pertinent as it highlights calls for a comprehensive multi-dimensional global response to GBV, especially in view of the worsening socio-economic conditions compounded by the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.