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After Mourning, Fight On GBV Should Continue

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Thursday, March 25th, 2021
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TANZANIA is still mourning the death of the late President John Magufuli, but at the same time it is celebrating the beginning of a new presidency.

With the swearing-in of Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan as the sixth Tanzania President, the country created its own history by having the first female president.

As we wait for the country to conclude its 21 days of mourning, we hope that when finally, the new president sits down in her office and officially start her presidency, she will get time to look into several gender issues.

Gender-based violence remains a significant problem in Tanzania, with the government acknowledging that it has the potential to significantly affect the country’s economy, health and social welfare systems.

This violence takes many forms, including physical, sexual, psychological and economic violence, mainly perpetrated against women. Promisingly, however, incidences of gender-based violence in the country appear to be on the decline, according to an article published in the Citizen newspaper.

We believe that once firmly at the helm of leadership, President Samia’s government will continue pushing for an industrial economy by 2025, while today’s generation of girls are preparing to enter a world of work that is being transformed by innovation and automation.

Educated and skilled workers are in great demand, but roughly a quarter of young people – most of them female – are currently neither employed nor in education or training.

Of the 1 billion young people – including 600 million adolescent girls – that will enter the workforce in the next decade, more than 90 per cent of those living in developing countries, including Tanzania, will work in the informal sector, where low or no pay, abuse and exploitation are common.

On paper, Tanzania has recognized freedom from violence as a fundamental human right through various acts and international conventions. But gaps in existing legislation, as well as the culture of shame and silence around gender violence, combine to undermine any progress.

Identifying national estimates of violence is a critical step towards preventing violence in communities and providing protection to children.

In the long-term, there should be an evidence base on how child protection systems can address violence against children and develop a strategy for national scale-up, and support the government to develop a social welfare workforce strategy to increase the numbers and capacity of Social Welfare Officers to respond to child abuse and violence.

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