Gender Equality: Activism against gender violence
We are excited to share with you a story that was featured in our partner USAID’s 16 days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign. USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.
In Bunda District in Western Tanzania, Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief (CPAR), in partnership with USAID, is finding that Farmer Field Schools can be a forum for men and women to discuss sensitive issues such as gender-based violence.
Kizom Farm Field School (FFS) group member Saada cultivated cotton this year with her children. She sold the cotton for Tsh 400,000 (about $266) and planned to use the money to start a ‘mgahawa’ (tea shop) in the centre of the village as an additional source of income.
Before she could proceed with her plans, her husband Amos seized the money. Having discussed human rights in her FFS group and being fully aware of her basic human rights, Saada stood up to her husband and demanded that he return the money. He then beat her. She reported the incident to her FFS group. As a result, a delegation of the FFS group leadership visited the husband.
Amos claimed that women in this society have no right to own money, so the delegation, including his wife, spoke to him at length about equal rights for all of society and the fact that Saada has every right to hold and control cash, and most certainly the cash she earned from the cotton. Furthermore they told him that Saada has the right at all times to be treated with respect and live free from violence.
Amos apologized to the FFS delegation and to Saada, and said that he would not beat or take money from her again. The money was already gone, but their relationship is now on a new footing. Saada has further stressed to her husband that she has the right to equal ownership of everything in the household. Amos will now be held to greater accountability for his actions. Not only is Saada fully aware of her rights, she has her whole FFS group of women and men ready to back her up – and has served as an inspiration to members of her community.
CPAR is implementing the Fields to Families project with generous support from the American People