TANZANIA Gender Networking Programme (TGNP) has embarked on women and youth economic empowerment projects as a new approach to fight Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Tarime District in Mara Region.
The 50m/- projects funded by Crossroads International of Canada include poultry keeping, fish farming, horticultural farming and a conference hall.
TGNP Programme Officer, Mr Deogratias Temba said this when councillors and senior officials of Tarime District Council visited the projects early this week. TGNP is channeling the support through a local knowledge centre with several women and youth groups at Magoma village in Nyakonga ward.
“Our goal is to empower the groups of women and youth economically so that they can help to fight FGM and other Gender Based Violence (GBV) acts “, Mr Temba said.
The initiative will further include drilling of a bore hole that will help to improve water services in the area. The projects, Mr Temba said, are expected to be ready by next month (March).
The Tarime councillors welcomed the projects, saying that they complement efforts by the government to uplift the living standards of citizens as well as fighting FGM. The council’s Social Services Committee Chairman, Mr Mustapha Masian asked the beneficiary groups to extend FGM education campaigns to other parts of the district.
Tarime is one of the places with high rates of FGM cases despite ongoing campaigns by local and international organisations carried out to stop the outdated harmful culture in the district. FGM is illegal according to Tanzania law.
The practice subject girls to severe pains during and after the cut and health experts warn that it results to other health complications like fistula. FGM is also cited as the major source of early marriage among school girls in the region.