Action Aid International Tanzania has launched a report on violence against women and girls in northern Zanzibar, indicating that 17.2 per cent and 35.6 per cent of partnered women aged 15 years and above have experienced physical violence in Unguja and Pemba, respectively.
The report entitled “Wall of Silence: A Look at Violence Against Women in Northern Zanzibar” was unveiled yesterday in Stone town, Zanzibar, by the First Vice President, Seif Sharif Hamad, on the occasion of commemorating the International Women’s Day.
According to the study, the majority of respondents identified violence against women as dangerous to the life of a human being.
But 10 per cent of the respondents in Unguja North believed women were the cause of it.
“About 41.7 per cent in Pemba stated that the society thought violence against was normal,” it stated.
The report revealed further that communities in northern Unguja and Pemba were surrounded by a culture of shame and silence making it difficult to determine the prevalence of violence against women.
It stated that the move led to a problem of under-reporting issues of violence performance.
Over the last five years, the Zanzibar government has introduced some important initiatives to address violence against such as a gender-based violence committee, a female police network, police gender desks and most recently, the one stop centre at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital.
However, the place of change has been slow. Justice, safety and support remain inaccessible for money women in northern Zanzibar.