March 08,2014 TAMWA AND INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2014 As the world marks international women’s day, The Tanzania Media Women’s Association (TAMWA) also reflects on its journey in bringing the issues of Women onto the national agenda. The International Women's Day is traditionally a day when women of the world unite to celebrate achievements and protest injustices against women. The day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action to achieve equality for women.
For TAMWA, each year marks a step against inequality which started in 1987 when twelve women journalists who strongly opposed the way media portrayed women and the way women were treated in the media houses, joined hands to remedy the situation. Through the years, the realization grew that it was not only media women who were discriminated, undermined, under-represented and sexually harassed, it was in every sphere of society. So, TAMWA joined the national and international fight for against injustices and for gender equality. Today the organization has grown to more than 100 members and TAMWA continues to educate, raise awareness and facilitate both women and men on their rights, especially those of women and the girl child. TAMWA does this through its media advocacy because it believes that the media plays a crucial role in changing people’s attitudes. By working closely with media houses, editors and journalists through meetings and trainings, TAMWA has contributed variously to the transformation of the Tanzania society. Over the last 20 years, through the use of media, TAMWA has succeeded in creating and intensifying awareness and mobilising for action on issues related to gender-based violence such as wife battery, killing of elderly women due to witchcraft beliefs, rape, FGM, child marriage, early pregnancies, women visibility in decision making as well as alleviating poverty amongst women. The struggle for women special seats went hand in hand with the enactment of the popular law on sexual harassment namely the Sexual Offences Special provision Act (SOSPA) of 1998 for which TAMWA was instrumental. Each year, TAMWA uses the International Women’s Day to highlight issues that need action and celebrate what has been achieved. And this year’s theme "Inspiring change" amply reflects what TAMWA has done through the years - the growing awareness of the need for women's equal participation at all levels and every sphere of the society as well as a united voice against gender based violence. For years, TAMWA has been celebrating the International Women’s Day by participating in number of TV and radio programmes, exhibition, presentations and articles in the print media all aimed at creating awareness to the Tanzanian society including policy makers on the need to change the policies that undermine women in the country. In 2014, TAMWA celebrates the 200 journalists trained in the past year on reporting GBV and gender sensitive reporting, the 400 girls who ran away from undergoing FGM, of the men who take up action against women and children being abused, the families it has reconciled and cases it has assisted through its Crisis Resolving Centre. Most importantly, TAMWA celebrates the fact that through its media advocacy women have participated in the historic constitutional making process and that the Constitutional Assembly includes 100 women and 101 men from Civil Society Organisations, learning institutions and religious bodies. It is a gain against inequality worth celebrating. TAMWA in collaboration with Gender Equality and Women Empowerment GEWE II: GBV Component partners have met with Tanzania Mainland Editors today, 31st August 2013 at TAMWA Resource Centre, Sinza Mori to launch Journalist Guide to GBV reporting. TAMWA has also urged editors to support TAMWA campaign against gender based violence cases in Tanzania that has largely affected Women and Children. The manual will guide journalists in the investigation GBV cases and best ways to report GBV issues/cases affecting women and children. Click here to Download your English and Swahili copies