In Tanzania, sexual abuse and violence against women and girls are pervasive, and systems fail to hold perpetrators to account. At UZIKWASA, we believe systems only truly change when the individuals who inhabit them change. You can help us work with every leader in Pangani District-every school committee and village council member, every religious leader and village elder-to leverage her/his unique position to protect women and girls, and holistically address and prevent abuse and violence.
Pangani is not safe for its women and children. In their homes, women face physical and emotional abuse from their male partners. They can be raped when fetching water or gang raped as punishment or revenge. Even children are not safe at home where they are frequently abused by male relatives. Fear and shame keep victims from reporting abuse as leaders are reluctant to take action and communities silently accept the status quo. These challenges are real, but Pangani is changing.
In February 2017, a retired village chairman participating in one of our trainings told us, "This is not a time to keep quiet about abuses, violence, and humiliation. It is time to take action by reporting to legal authorities." He's right. UZIKWASA is facilitating one group of village leaders at a time, through grassroots holistic planning to address violence and abuse. The product is committed leaders who ensure the safety of all women, men, girls and boys-in their villages, schools and homes.
Meaningful change is a slow process, but its results are long-lasting. By meeting communities where they are on their journeys, understanding peoples' lives, and being facilitators of change, UZIKWASA is ensuring the realization of our popular campaign slogan: Minna Dada na Namjali (I have a sister and I care for her). A Pangani whose leaders who have personally transformed and care for their 'sisters' will fundamentally change systems and communities to protect women and girls in the long-term.