‘Realizing Gender Equality through Empowering Women and Adolescent Girls’.The signing ceremony comes at a time when the global community is battling the COVID-19 pandemic that has so far claimed thousands of lives the world over.
The coronavirus pandemic, which has now reached Tanzania, will change the lives of many people in the country, while its impacts – both short- and long-term – may be felt most disproportionately by women and adolescent girls, with existing gender-based inequalities exacerbated by the outbreak.
From April 2020 through March 2023, UNFPA and UN Women will work together to strengthen the social and economic resilience of some of the furthest behind rural women and adolescent girls in Ikungi District, Singida Region and Msalala District, Shinyanga Region.
UN Women will focus on economically empowering women and female youth farmers by improving agricultural production, collective marketing and entrepreneurship skills; and enhancing land tenure security, addressing both the short- and long-term economic shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic.
UNFPA will support efforts to strengthen the capacity of frontline actors – health workers, the police – and communities to prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV) and all harmful practices – which often increase during times of crisis – ensuring that survivors can access the comprehensive and respectful care and services they need to start rebuilding their lives.
Through this Joint Initiative, a total of 2,350 women and adolescent girls will directly benefit from the synergetic interventions of women’s economic empowerment and GBV prevention and response. In addition, outreach campaigns to promote women’s economic agency, land rights and the prevention of and response to all forms of GBV and harmful practices are expected to reach more than 40,000 people in both regions.
Further, a total of 6,000 women and men in four villages located in Ikungi District will benefit from the land tenure security initiative that will support them to acquire Certificates of Customary Rights of Occupancy (CCROs).
In his remarks, the KOICA Country Director, Kyucheol Eo said: “As Koica’s objectives is to promote the realization of gender equality and women’s rights as well as to reduce poverty and improve communities’ livelihoods,”
Through the Joint Programme, KOICA will support efforts to address the crucially intertwined socioeconomic challenges facing women and adolescent girls in rural Tanzania, which include barriers to economic empowerment and social norms and values that perpetuate GBV and harmful practices.
“It is our hope that through this programme, we will not only see substantial positive results in the lives of women and adolescent girls, but also of men and boys, with far-reaching benefits to families, communities and Tanzania as a whole,” said Eo.
The UN Women Representative, Hodan Addou said the Joint Initiative will incidentally contribute to the United Nations Framework seeking to provide urgent socio-economic interventions to save lives and secure livelihoods for the quick recovery of communities affected by COVID-19.
“These experiences include women’s disproportionate responsibility on domestic and care work, lack of land tenure security and limited decision-making power, as well as domestic violence in communites at a time when collective efforts are so critical to ensure women are safe and economically resilient in the face of COVID-19,” Addou said.
Jacqueline Mahon, UNFPA Representative, said while it is too early to say what the long-lasting impacts of COVID-19 will be, there is a danger that advances in gender equality could stall or even reverse. The Joint Programme will seek to build on progress towards realizing national and global commitments to advance gender equality, particularly to end all GBV and harmful practices against women and girls by 2030.
At the national level, UN Women and UNFPA will work with the Ministry of Health, Community Development,
Gender, Elderly and Children, the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government, the Ministry of Land, Housing and Human Settlements Development, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Tanzania Police Force, and other stakeholders to implement the Joint Programme; and with Ikungi and Msalala District Councils and selected non-government organizations at the subnational level.