Dar es Salaam – Finland and UNFPA join forces in Tanzania to empower young women and adolescent girls, including those living with disabilities, to advocate for their right to live free from violence.
Finland is providing $ 6.1 million to UNFPA for a three-and-a-half-year program, “Chaguo Langu Haki Yangu – My choice, my rights”, which will help women in Mara and Shinyanga regions, mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar, defend their right to live free from violence and harmful practices, including female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage.
Gender-based violence remains a daily reality for many women in Tanzania, despite the national commitment to tackle gender inequalities. Discriminatory norms and harmful practices deprive women and girls of their rights and their ability to realize their potential. Nationally, one in 10 women is subjected to FGM in Tanzania – and one in three in the Maria region. More than half of adolescent girls are married before the age of 18 in Mara and Shinyanga regions, two of the three areas where program activities will be implemented.
“Every young woman and girl has opportunities that should flourish as they grow into adulthood, shaping their future and, with it, the world,” said Jacqueline Mahon, UNFPA representative in Tanzania. . “UNFPA is committed to breaking down barriers that hinder the voice, choice, consent and equality of women and girls.
Young women and girls, including those with disabilities, will lead program activities, and existing partnerships and initiatives will be leveraged, including UNFPA’s work with religious leaders in Zanzibar and alternative rites of passage to FGM. Community platforms supported by UNFPA, such as the Adolescent Club and Women’s Knowledge Centers, will be a hub for project activities.
Police offices for gender equality and children and one-stop-shops, which provide victims of violence with comprehensive medical and social support and access to justice, capacity of officials and national policies and laws that defend the rights of women and girls will be strengthened. The Jumuishi – Inclusion – database supported by UNFPA in Zanzibar will also be expanded to collect and analyze data on gender-based violence and harmful practices among people with disabilities in Shinyanga and Mara regions.
With the new program, Finland aims to ensure that women and girls can participate more fully in society and live free from violence, while delivering on the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals: “When young women and girls cannot exercise their rights, including their right to live free from violence, their potential is wasted and economic growth and inclusive development suffer, ”said Finnish Ambassador Riitta Swan. “We must work together, do more and better, including with people with disabilities, to realize our vision of a future where all young women and girls can live in peace, freedom and equality, achieving first the most late and leaving no one behind. “
The program will be implemented in collaboration with the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, including regional and local government authorities, as part of multisectoral and coordinated efforts to end violence against women and children. children and harmful practices.