16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM 2014 IN PATHWAYS PROGRAM, CARE TANZANIA- MTWARA PROGRAM OFFICE

The CARE Mtwara office commemoration this year’s 16 Days of Activism campaign by collaborating with the District and Regional Police through their Gender Desks along with the Mtwara Paralegal Clinic (MPC) that provides free legal advice to women and children in Southern Tanzania.

The Police Gender Desks were formulated in 2013 with the aim of allowing victims of abuse or violence access to confidential spaces in police stations paired with qualified (female) personnel in a police station to allow them to file their cases and give their statement, which in a lot of cases involves sharing details of a sensitive and personal nature.

While this move has been commended by many in the public and private sectors, Police Gender Desks remain underfunded, with many not having the space or the equipment they need to adequately collect the information.

With this in mind, through the Pathways and WERISE Programs, we conducted training for officers manning the desks in district gender desk offices with representatives from all 11 districts in Lindi and Mtwara in attendance. The training was conducted by members of the Police Gender Desks from Dar es salaam and Tanga.

After receiving training, the officers paired up with CARE Officers and a representative from the Mtwara Paralegal Centre to conduct an Awareness raising campaign that was done in each of the four districts where the 2 programs work; it is approximated that the campaign reached over 4000 people in 4 days. In addition to providing information about women’s rights, violence in the home and the work of the Gender Desks, we also provided free legal advice and shared a toll-free number that women could call in case they needed legal advice which would be provided free of charge.

Lastly, in closing, we hosted a closing ceremony on December 10th 2014, which included Mr. Wilman Ndile, the District Commissioner for Mtwara who spoke quite progressively about the fight for women’s rights. He drew parallels with different struggles throughout centuries highlighting the difficulties in eradicating this ill in the society especially when it serves to benefit a few (men who carry out violence). Drawing parallel with the fight against, slavery, colonialism and general community inequality-that gave rise to the Arusha declaration, he stated that no right worth having is going to be handed over to people; we all have to work hard and raise our voices to make it happen.

He also commended the efforts made in community awareness raising, saying positive changes in granting rights cannot come from podiums; one has to work at community levels to ensure that these changes are made and sustained.

In the event we supplied the 2 Regional Police Gender Desks, 4 District Gender Desk offices and the Mtwara Paralegal Clinic each a printer, mobile phone and stationery including pens, pencils, papers and files to aid the collection of information and reporting. Please see below for the full list of items.

 
We hope this is only the start of this collaboration between the Program office the Police gender Desks as well as the Paralegal Centre.

LIST OF ITEMS PROVIDED

SN

Description

Unit

Qty

1

HP LaserJet P1102 Printer Pc

1

2

HP 85A Black Original LaserJet Toner Cartridge Pc

2

3

Nokia Mobile phone Pc

1

3

A4 REAM Ream

5

4

PEN Pc

100

5

PENCIL Pc

100

6

stapler Pc

1

7

Punching machine Pc

1

8

Staple pins pkt

12

9

Staple remover Pc

1

10

Glue stick 35g Pc

1

11

A5 Note book Pc

24

12

Writing pad Pc

12

13

Folder file transparent Pc

5

14

Folder file Local Pc

10

15

Box file Pc

10

   

 

Shughuli hii itahusisha wadau mbalimbali kutoka Jeshi la Polisi la mikoa ya Lindi na Mtwara, Wawakilishi kutoka Ofisi mbalimbali za Serikali kama vile mahakama, ofisi ya mwanasheria wa serikali na ofisi za ustawi wa jamii.

 

– Contributed by Maureen Kwilasa, Pathways Tanzania