TUWALEE Project Liberates Shinyanga Women from Jaws of GBV
18 July 2023
Women in Shinyanga have been primary victims of Gender Based Violence for a very long time, due to the proliferation of Sukuma patriarchal system, cultural norms and values among other factors, that regard women as a weaker group, thereby fueling the social anomaly.
Surprisingly, the number of reported cases is very low compared to reality on the ground because women fear being ostracized by their community or worsen the situation by reporting their husbands to the village or ward administration.
Rosaria Edward (37), a resident of Ilola Village, Ilola ward in Shinyanga District Council, is one of many victims of Gender Based Violence (GBV) who have lived to endure and hide the painful truth of their married life. Beatings, economic abuse, and neglect have become part and parcel of their lives, with biased arbitration effected by their families leaving their husbands to get away with their hideous actions, without any legal action being taken against them.
Rosaria revealed that her life has been one of enduring the brutality has been subjected to by her husband, especially during the harvest period where her husband used to sell all the harvest that the family would have realized and spends the money with other women while leaving his family of five children without food.
“My husband used to sell all the produce we harvested every season without even caring about the needs of the children at home. Every time I tried to ask him why he sold all the produce when the family needed food, he beat me to a pulp,”Bold Rosaria explained
She added that in 2020 they harvested 120 sacks of rice, but the husband sold them all and used the money he got to marry another wife and abandoned his family, leaving Rosaria to raise the children alone.
Rosaria said that her life changed for the better after meeting community facilitators from the TUWALEE Project under the RAFIKI-SDO organization, that is funded by the Women Fund Trust (WFT). The encounter was an eye-opener as she can now report acts of violence that her husband has been subjecting her to for a long time.
“The community facilitators have helped me to realize that I can get help if I report the violence acts to the government. The education they gave us through the groups of parents and caregivers has helped many women in our ward. We are no longer afraid to report cases of violence and until now, I have reported the violence perpetrated against me to the Community Development Officer of Ilola WardBold,” Rosaria said
Rosaria, on behalf of Ilola residence, expressed gratitude to RAFIKI-SDO and the TUWALEE project for the enlightenment that increased awareness and opened their eyes, while requesting that this the initiative spreads to other areas of Shinyanga Region, to increase awareness and reduce violence against women and children.