International Day of the Girl Child: Shinyanga needs to sternly protect girls
As part of the implementation of the Dreams Innovation Challenges Project in Shinyanga and Kahama, the Legal and Human Rights Centre joined the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, Civil Society Organizations, Community Based Organizations, Faith-Based Organizations, national, international and the community of Shinyanga calling for increased attention and action in addressing challenges facing the girl child in Tanzania.
Speaking during the commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child in Shinyanga, the LHRC’s Program Officer for Gender and Children Ms. Naemy Sillayo noted that the LHRC understands and is working hard to address number of the obstacles facing girl child including mounting acts of violence counting rape, sexual harassment, physical and psychological intimidation, as well as harmful traditions and cultural practices.
“Girls are facing numbers of obstacles but they can mitigate the danger by reporting the violations or any threat to the violation to the people close to them including teachers, parents, social welfare officers, local government leaders, religious leaders and even police officers. However the government and community should play their jurisdictional roles in guaranteeing safety to the children” – said Naemy.
In the same event, the District Commissioner for Shinyanga Ms. Josephine Matiro who officiated the day on behalf of the Shinyanga Regional Commissioner called upon all actors from the community level to the international level to jointly and steadily play their role in protecting the girl child in Shinyanga following high prevalence of gender-based violence acts in the region.
“Shinyanga is among the top three regions in Tanzania with the high prevalence of child abuse acts, and it is so because people of Shinyanga are reluctant to depart from their detrimental traditions. It’s a shame to be labeled like that because it tarnishes our good image. I urge the people of Shinyanga to combine forces with the government and other stakeholders including CSO’s in fighting gender-based violence against the girl child” – she noted.
Parents should revisit relationships with their daughters to make sure they are protected and guaranteed with basic rights including the right to education and social protection – added Matiro.
Legal and Human Rights Centre took an active part in the commemorating as one of the key and frontline organizations in advocating for children rights. Prior to the launch, the Center lodged in Kahama Township Council for two days to provide the beneficiaries of the Dreams Innovation Challenge Project with legal assistance.
This project is part of the Dreams Innovation Challenge Projects focused on Integrating Legal Empowerment and Social Accountability for Quality HIV Health Services for Adolescent Girls and Young Women through the use of Legal Empowerment and Social Accountability Strategies.
The project targets Adolescent Girls and Young Women of Ages 15 – 24, Parents, Children, Male Partners and the Community at Large in a total of 20 wards i.e. 10 wards in Shinyanga Municipal Council and 10 wards in Kahama Township Council.
The LHRC is implementing the project with the support of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO).