Fighting Harmful Traditional Practices
FCS efforts to fight Harmful Traditional Practices (HTPs) covers Gender Based Violence (GBV), Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), child marriages and other forms of violence towards women, girls and children. Despite the Law prohibiting these practices, they still continue to persist due to traditional and cultural beliefs in some communities around Tanzania.
GBV is a human rights violation stemming from persistent gender inequalities. It is highly prevalent across various regions in Tanzania. The situation is similar for sexual violence and FGM, whose victims face many serious health complications such as hemorrhaging, infection, complications during child birth and even death. Mara region records many reported cases of FGM as well as GBV, with some involving women as young as 15 years. Other regions with high prevalence include Mwanza, Shinyanga, Singida, Dodoma, Geita and Simiyu.
FCS supports civil society organisations (CSOs) to implement projects on fighting the practices because they violate the human rights of victims, especially women and girls. Principally, these projects support government initiatives to eradicate gender disparities within communities. They also mobilize citizens and local government authorities (LGAs) efforts towards women and girls rights in order to achieve sustainable community development.
How we work
In many initiatives supported by FCS, the aim is to change the mind set and negative perceptions in target communities concerning these HTPs. Also the focus is on increasing the capacity of community and victims to identify and report offenses to law enforcement agencies, while at same time strengthening of existing systems and structures at all levels in identifying, reporting and resolving these issues.Principally, FCS works with grassroots CSOs in target communities and districts/regions. Some of the strategies and approaches we use include:
- Community mobilization through public meetings, road shows, community forums etc for awareness and citizens education on GBV, child marriages, FGM and other HTPs.
- Training and capacity building on HTPs to duty bearers, traditional leaders, religious leaders, community leaders and champions.
- Build a network of community resources persons such as community champions, activists and peer educators for monitoring, follow up and reporting community incidences.
- Community awareness through film shows, drama, sports and social events.
- Information campaigns through media (national and local radios), promotional materials like T-shirts and information, education and communications (IEC) materials to reach citizens and create public awareness on harmful traditional practices.
- Formation and operation of FGM/GBV platforms and formation of school related GBV clubs (SRGBV) to mobilize children to act as ambassadors to advocate against children violence.
A). Formation of community-based GBV platforms for monitoring, follow up and reporting of cases.
B). Developing a multi-stakeholder strategy to address FGM and GBV.
C). Developing by-laws to protect women and children.
Currently FCS works with 31 CSOs implementing projects to eradicate HTPs in 5 regions with high prevalence of GBV, FGM and child marriages. These regions are Mara, Singida, Dodoma, Kilimanjaro, Shinyanga and Manyara. FCS has invested more than TZS 1,9 billion for these initiatives.