EU missions set to kick off 16 days anti-GBV activism

23Nov 2021
Felister Peter
The Guardian
EU missions set to kick off 16 days anti-GBV activism

​​​​​​​MISSIONS of the European Union in Tanzania have joined together in support of 16 days of activism against gender based violence (GBV), an annual international drive that kicks off on Thursday this week.

Ambassador Manfredo Fanti, head of the European Union delegation, said at a press conference at the Alliance Française in Dar es Salaam yesterday that joint efforts are needed to end violence against women and girls as there is no country with zero cases of such violence.

Present at the event were ambassadors Nabil Hajlaoui (France), Mary O'Neil (Ireland), Mette Nørgaard Dissing-Spandet (Denmark), Dr Katrin Bornemann (head of cooperation for Germany), Jacqueline Mahon (UNFPA representative), Hodan Addou (UN Women country representative) and Job Runhaar (deputy ambassador for the Netherlands).

At the meeting convened to present the programme for this year’s of this global activism in Tanzania, Ambassador Hajlaoui said that since each of the countries has incidences of GBV, there is a need to learn from one another on how to solve the problem.

“We still have GBV cases in our society; when you listen to radios you will always hear reports of violence. We need to learn from others who have registered success in that area,” he said.

Despite efforts by governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), more needs to be done to vastly reduce cases of gender violence; as such occurrences affect the health of victims and ruin their economic prospects. France will continue to cooperate with the government in the fight against GBV, he declared.

Ambassador O'Neill said the community must decide on what kind of a society it wants to live in regardless of what other countries across the world do, as GBV is a global matter.

“GBV is a problem in all countries, causing deaths of hundreds of women every day, with about 98 per cent of GBV being men against women. We need to ensure justice for women and girls,” she declared, underlining that no country is in a situation of reporting zero GBV.

The media and other stakeholders including religious leaders, civil society and community groups need to train the light and break situations of silence to make changes happen at all levels, she emphasized.

Dr Bornemann commended Tanzania for its efforts in fighting GBV, as the country had come up with a national plan of action to end violence against women and children.

Ambassador Addou said that for Tanzania, the 16 days of activism will be geared at galvanizing public attention and engage stakeholders to call upon the society to eliminate violence against children and women.

“Since there is no vaccine for GBV, countries must come up with a comprehensive approach to protect women and girls,” the representative underlined, elaborating on the need to formulate laws and ensure enhanced assistance to victims when such incidents occur.

During this year’s 16 days of activism, embassies of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the EU delegation in collaboration with national stakeholders and UNFPA will hold public events in the commercial capital from November 25th to December 10th.

The key message for this year is appealing to everyone to end gender based violence right away while the global theme is ‘Orange the world: End violence against women now’.

Some of the events include GBV combat champion award ceremony and a fundraising concert, anti-GBV caravans to be held in Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, Dodoma, Iringa, Njombe and Mbeya regions

There is also a national research symposium on ending violence against women and children on December 1st and a regional forum and dialogue to address chances and challenges on advancing the fight against GBV at national and regional level. It will be hosted by the German Embassy, GIZ (T) and the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat.

The 16 days of activism run from November 25th to December 10th, intended to coincide with the World Human Rights Day, officials noted.