We are excited and humbled to have the Honorable Dr. Samia Suluhu as our Guest…
Advocate Anna Kulaya –the Executive Director of WiLDAF Tanzania, on behalf of MKUKI Coalition, explained that Anti GBV Champions Award is an initiative of WiLDAF and MKUKI Coalition with the support from different stakeholders including Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, and Belgium embassies, Irish Aid, LSF and UNFPA. The aim of this award recognizing and honour innovation, creativity and efforts of extraordinary individuals who have taken remarkable actions to address different forms of gender-based violence in their communities. These actions include prevention and responses to cases of violence.
Considering this year’s theme: Every Life Matters: End Femicide and Violence Against Women and Children, this year’s awards aimed at motivating each individual not to turn a blind eye to acts of gender-based violence and to take action to save the lives of women and girls.
She pointed out the increasing wave of killings and acts of violence against women and children. Along with other things, the main driver of these events is the society staying silent and not taking action. Therefore it is an act of diligence to congratulate the 16 champions for refusing to remain silent and deciding to take action to save the lives of women and girls.
Adv. Anna challenged the participants to reflect on the programs that are implemented in the community, explaining that the activities done by the champions are innovative and inexpensive but highly successful in changing attitudes and eradicating acts of violence against women and children. She said “The biggest lesson we get from their work is that, for our programs to be successful, they must be community centred. Incidents of sexual violence occur in society and that is where all the answers to end this problem lie. So when we implement our programs, we must involve the communities to create their own ways to fight against GBV and we as stakeholders should remain with the task of coordinating and guiding them where necessary.”
In the context and in recognition of the call made at the 7th meeting of the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) Forum, Adv. Anna asked the Development Partners (DP) to look at how best they can finance the social activities that are carried out by these champions. She pointed out that, due to the strict conditions of grant management given by donors following the context of international organizations, many local organizations have been lacking funding when their activities are the most stable in bringing great results at low cost. Therefore, she challenged the DPs that if there is a sincere desire to bring about change in the society, then it’s time to look at how to reach these institutions that work with the society directly.
The Award: Adv. Anna explained that this is the 3rd year of celebrating 16 Champions of Change who are daily working in Tanzania to defend and protect women and girls’ rights to live a life free from violence. The intention of the event is to celebrate these notable individuals while at the same time inspire others to join the movement. “We believe that Tanzania without GBV is possible if everyone in their position takes action to eradicate these acts,” She said.
The Award Categories: She went further highlighting that the awards were strategically divided into 16 categories to symbolize the 16 Days of Activism days thus awarding 16 champions. These 16 categories were placed as follows;
- Champion in Ending Child Marriage
- Champion in Ending Sexual Harassment
- Champion in Ending FGM
- Religious Leader Champion
- Artist Champion in Ending GBV
- Champion in Advocating Child Rights
- Champion Using Innovation in Ending GBV.
- Journalist Champion in Ending GBV
- Champion in Ending Online GBV
- Champion in Ending GB V Against Domestic Workers
- Champion in Ending GBV Against Person with Disabilities
- Sexual and Reproductive Productive Health Champion
- Traditional Leader Champion
- Champion against child Abuse
- GBV Champion For Young Women in Economic Rights
- GBV Champion survivor With Impact
Adv. Anna concluded by thanking the DPs who facilitated the event and the entire process of finding 16 champions of the fight against GBV. She gave special thanks to the Embassy of Denmark, Embassy of Ireland, Legal Services Facility and UNFPA for being the main sponsors of the activity for three consecutive years. She commented, “Let me just say that, in 2020 when we presented this idea, they were the first to show their willingness to finance and they have continued to do so until today.”
She also thanked other development partners who have also been an important part of facilitating the event and the campaign in general, that includes; the embassies of Finland, Holland and Belgium, USAID, Save the Children and MEDA.