Girls who fled FGM in Mara region open up

BY FRESHA KINASA

TOWARDS the International Day of the Girl Child October 11, 2022 girls who fled Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child marriages who are being sheltered at Nyumba Salama, Kiabakari in Butiama district and Hope Mugumu in Serengeti district in Mara region have encouraged girls and women who are subjected to cruel acts to come forward and raise their voices and to report to the government authorities so that measures can be taken against the offenders, instead of staying silent and seeing such actions as part of their lives.
International Day of the Girl Child, aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls' empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.

The theme is different every year. In the year 2021, the theme for the National Girl Child Day was 'Digital Generation, Our Generation' while this year 2022, the theme is 'Our time is now-our rights, our future'.

International Day of the Girl Child is an international observance day declared by the United Nations, it is also called the Day of Girls and the International Day of the Girl. October 11, 2012, was the first Day of the Girl Child
They have said that, not reporting those who commit violent acts is giving them an opportunity to continue doing so, an act that has serious consequences and affects the development and better welfare in society.

However, they have insisted government to continue to give severe punishments to all those who are identified along with the stakeholders and society to join together to continue strongly condemning the issue of sexual violence.

They said this today, October 9, 2022, in a debate held at the Hope Mugumu Nyumba Salama center located in the Misitu area of ​​the Serengeti district, where it was organized by the Hope for Girls and Women in Tanzania organization and brought together girls from two centers owned by an organization that provides shelter for those girls.

Solea Marwa from Nyumba Salama Kiabakari Butiama said, there are female children who have been subjected to sexual violence by their close relatives from their families, but they have been afraid to report it to the law enforcement agencies including the Police, Gender Desk and local government offices for fear of condemnation. So she has asked them to have the courage to give that information without fear.

Sarah Zabron from Nyumba Salama Butiama said,society has been treating the female child as an inferior tool and a person who is not valued the same as a male child, he has asked the government to continue strictly managing the child's law in parallel with protecting her and listening to complaints of cruelty when they make them instead of staying silent and seeing it as a part of their lives.
Zawadi Richard said, the practice of female genital mutilation has continued to have serious consequences for girls, including heavy bleeding, affecting them psychologically, and so she asked the relatives who have been doing acts of female genital mutilation to be given severe punishment when they are convicted in order to give a lesson to others who wish to mutilate female children in order to marry them off so as to earn income against with laws.

Amina Ramadhani from Hope Mugumu said,society should give girls the same right to education as boys because it is the basis of development and strengthening equality in society, instead of marrying them off at a young age and thus ending their dreams.

"I also ask that the issue of evidence in court be given, emphasis because sometimes a daughter can be mutilated, but when the case comes to court people do not show up to give evidence and this is a big problem and there should also be a good environment for a female child who has been brutalized to give her evidence and be well protected," Amina said.
Beatrice Yohana from Nyumba Salama Kiabakari in Butiama district said,when female children are fulfilled their basic rights, they have a good future in the future and help the society to bring about positive economic and social changes where she has said that efforts to fight such acts should be done by all people instead of leaving that responsibility to the Government and organizations.

Fenanzia Mwita from Hope Mugumu,asked religious leaders to strongly condemn acts of sexual violence by giving spiritual teachings and showing how such acts are a great sin and should not be done because they violate God's instructions.
Neema Chacha,advised the leaders from political parties to be part of supporting the efforts of the government and stakeholders in the fight against gender violence by participle and exposing those who commit such acts without hiding them.

She said,that outdated traditions and customs including female genital mutilation, child marriages should be abandoned and instead good traditions and customs should be developed for the benefit of the community and the nation as well.

Rebeka Joshua,asked for education against sexual violence to continue to be provided, especially in rural areas where many citizens do not have knowledge and understanding of human rights by reaching out to traditional elders and various groups who, if educated, will have a great contribution to the success of the struggle.
Pastor's Steven Kolokoni from Shekinah Presbyterian Serengeti,has praised the Hope for Girls and Women in Tanzania Organization for continuing to help girls, including giving them shelter when they flee violence from their families and developing them academically and professionally where he has said that, this action enables them to fulfill their dreams.

He insisting the government to continue working together with organizations and stakeholders who are ready to fighting gender violence country wide.

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