Participants of the 16 Days Campaign in Dar es Salaam
Violence against women was the theme of the first joint UN advocacy campaign running from 25th November to 10 December 2009. National partner organizations commendably took the lead in addressing this serious issue in Tanzania.
Gender-based violence is recognized as a human rights and public health issue in Tanzania. Studies have shown that up to 56% of all women experience physical or sexual violence by their intimate partners.
The call for action to address the problem resonated at Mnazi Moja Grounds in Dar es Salaam on 25 November, when the 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women campaign was launched on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Dar es Salaam, UN Country Team, including UNFPA and UNICEF in the lead, joined hands with four ministries and civil society to advocate against gender-based violence during the 16 days campaign, which ended on Human Rights Day 10 December.
The NGO Wildaf was the main coordinator of the series of events highlighting the need for concerted action under the national theme: “I Am Not Alone: Personal Commitment, Daring Spirit and Willingness Can End Gender-Based Violence.”
The guest of honour at the launch was the Prime Minister, Hon. Pinda. He, together with the hundreds of participants, witnessed testimonials from survivors of gender-based violence and signed up in support of the Secretary-General’s “Say No - Unite against violence” initiative.
The United Nations Association (UNA) supported the 16 Days Campaign with a number of events targeting particularly young people. Hence, on 29 November, around 2,500 youths joined the launch of UNA’s Dala Dala (public bus) campaign. Inspired by the theme “Ukatili dhidi ya wanawake... Sio dili wala nini!” (violence against women AINT right!) nearly 1,000 youngsters signed the commitment to say NO to violence against women, helping along the campaign to foster a new generation free from gender-based violence.