Gender actors discuss female youth involvement in COVID-19 war

04Jun 2020
Henry Mwangonde
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Gender actors discuss female youth involvement in COVID-19 war

​​​​​​​A TEAM of gender actors have come together to share ideas on how to ensure young women and girls are at the centre of the COVID-19 Response and Recovery in Tanzania.

UN Women Representative, Hodan Addou.

The UN Women in partnership with the Msichana Initiative, Plan International and the African Women Leaders’ Network (AWLN) will host a virtual Roundtable Dialogue today aimed at renewing the momentum of the UN Women Global Campaign: The Generation Equality – Realising Women’s Rights for an Equal Future.

 The roundtable discussion Titled: “Keeping the Momentum of the Generation Equality Campaign” with the Theme: Placing Young Women and Girls at the Centre of the Covid-19 response and recovery, mostly young panelists will share how they are innovating their work to contribute towards addressing the multi-layered impacts of Covid-19 on young women and girls.

A set of resource persons comprising pioneers of the Beijing Platform for Action and other gender advocates will share strategies in response to presentations by the panelists including youth organization leaders, gender advocates from the civil society and male champions for gender equality.

Over 100 participants from the government, the United Nations, development partners, women’s rights organisations, the civil society, youth organisations, the private sector and community-based networks are expected to participate in this roundtable.

This is a continuation of conversations on how various organisations can better support a gender-sensitive national response following the outbreak of the Covid-19 in March in Tanzania.

 In an interview yesterday, UN Women Representative, Hodan Addou said the roundtable will identify areas of priority for women and girls in Covid-19 and discuss opportunities and strategies that can help to alleviate the impacts in the spirit of the generation Equality Campaign and in support of the Covid-19 National Response in Tanzania.

The Generation Equality Campaign was launched globally in 2019 to build the momentum to the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action and create opportunities that will bring together the next generations of women’s rights activists with the gender equality advocates and visionaries who were instrumental in creating the Beijing Platform for Action in 1995.

“Although the outbreak of Covid-19 shifted us into a new norm, which includes working from home virtually, we are not discouraged and have started engaging with partners to ensure that the gendered and multi-layered impacts of the Coronavirus do not deepen pervasive pre-existing inequalities and devastate women and girls,” Hodan said.

She said the roundtable discussion will promote intergenerational partnerships, including Public Private Partnerships that can strengthen social protection, build economic resilience among women-led businesses, enhance infrastructure, food security and nutrition for women and girls and ensure that essential services for survivors of gender-based violence are sustained.

According to Rebeca Gyumi, Executive Director of the Msichana Initiative and Co-chair of the African Women Leaders Network Tanzania chapter, which is supported by UN Women, the roundtable discussion also aims to create a space for women and girls across Tanzania to speak up for themselves and for those who are affected and infected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our aim is to centre young women and girls’ voices in the emerging issues and connect multiple generations of women to deliberate on various issues affecting them and exchange ideas and solutions to these concerns,” said  Gyumi.

 

Dr Mona Girgis, Plan International Tanzania Country Director will participate and provide the closing remarks to the event.

Dr Girgis commended the joint efforts made by the government, the United Nations and development partners alongside young people, to ensure girls and women’s rights are realised during the Covid-19 pandemic and commends the commitment of all round table participants attending today.

“We will have an opportunity to learn from each other, explore the problem of violence against women during the Covid-19 pandemic, and how we can play a role to ensure girls’ and women’s rights remain protected.”

Also expected to give some remarks during the roundtable dialogue is the Embassy of Finland’s Head of Cooperation and Representative of the Development Partners Group for Gender Equality, Riikka  Raatikainen.