- The UN representative says domestic and cyber violence against women and girls have increased during this period of Covid-19
Dar es Salaam. Following incidents of violence and harmful practices against women and girls increasing substantially due to the Covid-19 pandemic, development partners have called for increased efforts to address violence against women, and provide essential services for survivors.
The ‘UN Women’ representative in Tanzania, Hidon Addou, said this during a press conference on 16 days of activism against gender-based violence (GBV), with the key message ‘Women empowerment benefits the whole society.’
The conference brought together Ambassadors from Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France and the European Union.
She said, domestic violence, as well as cyber violence against women and girls, have increased during this period of Covid-19.
“Women globally have been economically impacted by the pandemic due to many reasons including closure of businesses, among others,” she said.
The global theme for this year’s campaign is ‘Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!’
She said through the campaign this year, they want to promote positive gender norms and raise awareness of persistent harmful practices; expand accountability beyond the government; promote male engagement, and the engagement of traditional and religious leaders as important change agents, and inspire all Tanzanians to be active participants in ending gender-based violence.
The campaign is celebrated for a period of 16 days every year, from November 25 to December 10. Countries all over the world take part in this international campaign, with the purpose of raising awareness; and calling on governments, civil society, women’s rights organizations, young people, the private sector, the media and development partners to join forces in speaking out against, and addressing the global pandemic of violence against women and girls.
Meanwhile, France Ambassador to Tanzania, Frederic Clavier said France fought for the adoption and implementation of the Security Council resolutions of safeguarding women’s peace and security. “2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the resolution ‘1325”.
For his part, the Head of Delegation of the European Union, Manfredo Fanri, said the Tanzanian national theme for the campaign is ‘end gender-based violence - change begins with me.’
“We want to focus this year’s initiative on how to contribute to overcoming the problem through women engagement in income-generating activities with the support of the entire community at large,” he said.
He added that the target will not only be on women, who are mostly victims, but men will also be involved as part of the solution.
According to Mr Fanri, although over the years, more women have entered the workforce in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy, there still is a high discrepancy in wages and equal treatment. This is not only in Tanzania; it is a widespread, global phenomenon.
“In earnings, those earning above Sh1.5 million in paid employment, men account for 81 percent while only 15 percent of women account for this income bracket in self-employment,” he said.