The project on Building Multi-sectoral Partnership with local government authorities for safe markets has seen the decline of such cases at Majengo market in Dodoma from at least three per day to one or two in a week, thanks to public education.
Speaking here, head of the launch of 16 Days of Activism against GBV with the theme “Equal Generation: Stand against Rape”, Focal Person of the UN-Women Project, Christina Emmanuel attributed the decrease to increased awareness.
She said the project that fall under the Global Flagship Programme: The Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces launched in October last year to wind up next month has been a blessing to many as awareness to women traders to end violence against them in the market places.
“There is a lot of behavioural change in the market, women no longer feel violated as it used to be in the past and we thank the leaders for taking serious measures against offenders,” she said.
The project in the pilot phase, she said covered ten markets in the two regions, six in Shinyanga and four in Dodoma.
She added that through the awareness creation use of abusive language, violent acts against women as sexual violence have really declined in the course of one year of the project.
Majengo Ward Executive Officer, Odilia Kotta said the communities around the place are now aware of the need to go against gender based violence as they have been good ambassadors to their places of domicile.
“There are still few cases especially on the use of abusive words but most of those involved are from outside the area who are not aware and in such incidents, we warn them and in case they push on they are fined according to our by-laws” she said
Women traders at the market, Beatrice Yame, Saida Juma and Getrude Urio called for the extension of the projects saying as the tendency has been going down with new arrivals and changing patterns thus a need for increased capacity building training and awareness programmes.
They also advocate for a number of awareness initiatives to make the message reach anyone around or entering the market places like guidelines, talk shows, brochures and banners with clear message that will be seen or understood by people from all walks of life.
UN-Women has partnered with the Association of Local Authorities of Tanzania (ALAT) to work together to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in market places in Dodoma and Shinyanga regions.
One of the areas that the project is focusing on is to change negative attitudes and behaviours that would perpetuate violence and discrimination against women.
Through the intervention, it would then create new advocates that can champion women’s rights for women to enjoy public spaces free from violence.
Despite the fact that this pilot project targeted only two councils, the best practices adopted will be shared with other councils for replication to enable all women and girls enjoy public spaces across the country.