young girls sit in a dirty two room house in Mabibo Tanzania

Tanzania is focused on Ending Violence Against Women & Children

It is a depressing reality that violence is a daily occurrence for large numbers of women and children in Tanzania. Thankfully efforts are being made to improve the situation nationwide. With the National Plan of Action to End Violence Against Women and Children in Tanzania 2017/18-2021/22 (NPA-VAWC),  the Tanzanian government’s new prevention of violence agenda  “envisions a Tanzania where women and children enjoy their right to an environment free from all forms of violence.”

Some eye-opening facts from the analysis carried out as part of the NPA-VAWC:

  • Almost four in ten women have experienced physical violence, and one in five women report experiencing sexual violence in their lifetime (from the age of 15).Tanzania Demographic and  Health Survey(2010)
  • Tanzania also has traditional practices that harm children and women. Tanzanian women marry young – almost five years earlier than men.
  • Female Genital Mutilation is a problem: In some communities, as many as 70.8% of women/girls are circumcised.Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey (2010)
  • At least 7.9 million women and girls in Tanzania are estimated to have undergone FGM. UNICEF Report (2013)

Despite mounting pressure for change, the Law of Marriage Act (1971) still allows girls as young as 14 to be married. Efforts to change that age to 18, as well as review the Education Act No. 25 (1978) to prohibit child marriage while at school, are yet to materialize (NPA-VAWC).

Though these realities paint a bleak picture, it is heartening to know the Tanzanian government is focused on eliminating the many contributing factors that allow the current situation to persist (see excerpt below):

The following NPA-VAWC operational targets will be achieved by 2021/22. These include:

Poverty Related VAC Operational Targets (i) Reduce 35,916 children living in street by half (ii) Reduce child labour from 29% to 9% (iii) Increase education support for girls from poor families from 23.4% to 53.4%.

Safe Schools and Life Skills Related VAC Operational Targets (i) Reduce dropout due to pregnancy cases by half from 251 and 3,439 in primary schools and secondary schools respectively (ii) Increase district Junior Councils from 108 to 185 (iii) Increase children’s clubs in schools from 398 to 13,200 (iv) Maintain gender parity in schools’ completion at 1:1 (v) Increase schools teaching life skills from 0% to 70% (vi) Increase sanitary towels support to girls from poor families from 1% to 20%

These targets are ambitious, comprehensive, and admirable, and the House of Blue Hope is eager to do its part in bringing about the change needed to achieve them. As a safety net for 10 young vulnerable girls, the charity hopes to be a source of security, both educational and emotional support, and constant care for girls that would otherwise fall victim to violence and abuse.

By providing a safe environment and a full education for vulnerable girls, the House of Blue Hope charity hopes to change the course of their lives, so that they can be inspired to pursue their dreams, become fully independent and aware of their rights. Empowering these girls so that they need not suffer from violence nor the current societal gender inequality, can help change the course of this youthful nation’s future.

kids gather on steps of the house of blue hope in Mabibo in Tanzania, resting in the shade on a sunny day

If you want to get involved, and find out how you help us make a difference to 10 vulnerable girls’ lives, get in touch: info@houseofbluehope.org

Want to donate? Go to https://www.razoo.com/story/10year  to give anything you can. Just $5 dollars goes far in Tanzania, to help vulnerable boys and girls escape the vicious poverty cycle.

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