Launch of Campaign Against Sextortion
A nationwide campaign to end sexual exploitation was launched in Dar es Salaam as part of the activities to mark the 16 Days of Activism againstWho knew essay simply writing is so difficult. Definitely, at elementary standard, it was actually practically never tricky, but as soon as we surge the useful tiers it obtains difficult and more challenging
Launching the campaign in Dar es Salaam, the Tanzania Vice President's wife, Mama Asha Bilal, called upon victims of ‘sextortion’ to come forward and report to responsible authorities reminding them that silence fuels the illegal practice.
Sextortion which is a combination of words sex and extortion is a form of GBV that employs non-physical forms of coercion to extort sexual favours from the victim.
Mama Bilal told the audience at the Leaders’s Club grounds that sextortion is a form of corruption where people in positions of authority such as government officials, teachers, doctors and law enforcement personnel seek sexual favours in exchange for a service that is within their authority to grant or withhold.
She said that the campaign aims at fighting against sexual abuse at the workplace and in schools and institutions of higher education.
The Coalition against Sextortion (CAS), formed in May 2014, is chaired by the Tanzania Women Judges Association(TAWJA) and co-chaired by the Women Fund Tanzania(WFT) and brings together a number of Human and Women and Children Rights organizations such as TAMWA,TGNP, TAWLA, WLAC and TUCTA with the objective of breaking the silence on sextortion through awareness raising and evidence based advocacy
The co-chairperson of CAS Ruth Meena said the campaign will bring to light the suffering brought on by sexual harassment both in terms of emotional abuse and in the lack of concern by judiciary.
The Tanzania Media Women Association (Tamwa) reports that an estimated 75 to 89 per cent of women in Tanzania have experienced some form of sexual harassment.
In pursuing its vision and mission TAMWA uses variety of strategies including:
Planning: Planning is given high priority at TAMWA. Plans are developed in participatory manner to ensure conceptual clarity for all key stakeholders particularly Secretariat teams and members. The plans include Long term plans (Strategic Plans), Annual Plans, quarterly plans and even activity plan. TAMWA believes that without proper planning- that is knowing exactly what objectives/results required, it is not possible to effect positive social transformation to improve the lives of marginalized groups especially women and children. For us even a story is planned to set focus, what is the objective of the story and what kind of information it should contain and where to source the information.
Journalistic Survey: TAMWA media advocacy work has become effective because our advocacy is evidence based. We collect facts and information through journalistic field surveys to establish problems on the ground, its causes, magnitude, impact and solutions from marginalized people’s perspective. We also collect data and information through policy analysis eg what laws/policies say.
Bang style Journalism: This is TAMWA home grown strategy developed after the country in 1992 opened up media widows. The strategy entails dissemination of same type of information to several media channels for the purpose of reaching maximum audience.
Strategic IEC: TAMWA produces strategic Information Education and Communication materials to address its issues. Strategic messages are publicized through TV and Radio spots as well as posters and calendars. We also produce leaflets and special magazine -Sauti ya Siti to target rural communities.
Training: TAMWA train journalist’s men and women (including our members) on how best to cover issues affecting the lives of women and children based on our campaigns. Usually we organize training workshops for journalists and editors sessions at the beginning of TAMWA projects/campaigns. The aim is to ensure that as key actors they understand why the project and what role as journalists/editors and media in general need to play to make the projects/campaigns a success. We also train women politician on how best to deal with media. In 2004-2005 we trained 150 potential candidates for that year election. We also have strategically designed prrogrammes meant to improve skills and academic excellence of TAMWA members.
Engagement with editors: Editors are key decision makers in the newsrooms. Before we engage in any project/campaign we organize a two hour session with editors to introduce them the campaign/project with the aim making them understand why the project and the role of their respective media in making the project/campaign a success.
Building community activism: TAMWA engage with activities meant to build community and grassroots action to improve social-economic status of communities with the aim of reducing violence against women and children.
Coalition with like minded organizations: TAMWA values synergy, learning and the power of movement in making a difference through advocacy. TAMWA is an active and respected member of a strong gender, governance and human rights movement in the country-Feminism Activists Coalition-FEMACT which recently launched Voters Manifesto-to put women agenda in perspective to political parties, individual contestants and government of the day and one which will be put into power after October election.
TAMWA media advocacy work has contributed to several successes but few key the following:
The Association’s creative media advocacy initiatives have transformed the media culture in the country making the industry more sensitive and proactive in reporting women, children, and development, democracy and governance issues.
Enactment of Sexual Offenses Special Provision Act (SOSPA) of 1998. Apart from providing 30 years imprisonment for those convicted of rape, the law for the first time, recognized the harmful traditional practices- Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as a criminal offence. Following massive campaigns implemented by TAMWA and other anti-FGM activists’ organizations and networks, FGM decreased. According to 2005 Tanzania Demographic Health Survey, FGM cases dropped by three percent, that is, from 18% 1995 to 15% in 2005.
Zanzibar Spinsters, Widow and Female Divorcees Protection Act No 4 of 1985 which would sentence to prison young women becoming pregnant out of wed lock was repealed in 2005. The new law enacted, among other things, allows school girl becoming pregnant to go back to school.
The number of women in various decision making levels has increased. For example Members of parliament increased from 22 percent 2000 to 30 percent in 2005; and 2010 election results indicate that the number of women in parliament increased to 35 percent. For the first time in the history of the country, Speaker of the General Assembly is a woman. In addition, the number of women vied and elected for Chairperson’s post at the grassroots lection in 2009 increased compared to 2004. By 2009 only 200 women were holding the post of village Chairperson, but the number increase to close to 600 after 2009 local government elections.
Advocacy for the amendment of the Law of Marriage Act (LMA) of I971 which allows marriage of the girl child below 18 years, a move which has led the governing promising to prepare white paper on the law.
Economic and social status of 6,922 villagers worst hit by poverty in Unguja South and Pemba North regions, 90 percent being women have started changing positively after community awareness on the rights of women and their role in changing social economic status of family. Foe example between 2008 and 2009, through Zanzibar Women Empowerment (WEZA) project implemented by TAMWA in partnership with Care Tanzania, 7,000 poor rural women were able to raise Tshs217 million shillings from their own project servings which was impossible in the previous years.
The association is a role model in promoting women education by initiating and maintaining a scholarship fund for women journalists. The scholarship fund which was initiated in 2005 has benefited more than 14 young women journalists to accomplish university studies. Some of the beneficiaries of the scholarship have being promoted to decision making levels in their respective working institutions. Likewise, by 2009, more than 18 TAMWA members have benefited directly with FK Exchange Programme involving Media Women Associations (MWAs) of Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Zambia and Tanzania running effective 2003. The programme allows participants to live and work in a foreign country for one year.
TAMWA has owns an office premise, situated at Sinza-Mori bus stop, along Shekilango road, Kinondoni, District in Dar es Salaam. The office was acquired following the Association’s creative fundraising techniques.