Speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday during the launch of an international workshop on planning and implementation of prevalence surveys on violence against women, Health Deputy Minister Dr Faustine Ndungulile said GBV is triggered by factors like social norms and practices.
Dr Ndungulile said various interventions employed by the government and other stakeholders are held back by challenges such as limited resources to cover the whole country, hence some cases go unreported.
But in areas where resources are available, it is possible that cases can be reported more than once, making available data unrealistic and unhelpful in effective planning and execution of interventions.
“Violence is a reality for many women and children in Tanzania and the rest of the world. The latest demographic and health survey for Tanzania (2015/16) shows that four in ten women have experienced either physical or sexual violence in their lifetime,” he said.
He said increasing the generation of quality data will be a game changer in efforts to end the violence that women and children face.
The level of partnership in the area of ending violence against women reflects the need for regular generation of data to support governments to reform laws and policies and design of national programmes that can foster the creation of environments of free gender-based machinery.
That would help to improve administrative data through improved reporting and tracking mechanism of GBV incidences from different actors based on already established indicators, he further noted.
For her part, World Health Organization (WHO) country representative Dr Tigest Ketsela said improving the quality and availability of data on violence against women (VAW) has been a priority for WHO for over 20 years, as part of the work to prevent and respond to such conditions. It is now high on the international agenda, particularly in response to Sustainable Development Goals.
“In the WHO African region, there are still some gaps in data availability, as well as a very high prevalence of physical and or sexual in intimate Partner Violence (37percemt).
“Therefore the workshop and the follow up activities are critical to support the efforts of countries towards addressing existing gaps and ensuring the production of sound data that can contribute to a robust evidence-base and inform policies and programmes to address violence against women,” she stated.
The workshop brought together stakeholders from nine countries to discuss existing guidelines, principles and recommendations for the implementation of actions on GBV prevalence focusing on areas including planning to data collection and analysis.
In her remarks, Junca Plazaola Castano, data specialist from the Violence Against Women policy division at UN Women headquarters in New York said that data collection was critically important because GBV information is sensitive and carries ethical and safety recommendations to take into consideration.