Community's Expertise for Development Contributions efforts to fight Against Harmful Traditional Practices covers Gender Based Violence (GBV), Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), child marriages and other forms of violence towards women, girls and children. Despite the Law prohibiting these practices, they still continue to persist due to traditional and cultural beliefs in some communities around Tanzania.
GBV is a human rights violation stemming from persistent gender inequalities. It is highly prevalent across various regions in Tanzania. The situation is similar for sexual violence and FGM, whose victims face many serious health complications such as hemorrhaging, infection, complications during child birth and even death. Mara region records many reported cases of FGM as well as GBV, with some involving women as young as 15 years. Other regions with high prevalence include Mwanza, Shinyanga, Singida, Dodoma, Geita and Simiyu.
CEDC supports civil society organizations (CSOs) to implement projects on fighting the practices because they violate the human rights of victims, especially women and girls. Principally, these projects support government initiatives to eradicate gender disparities within communities. They also mobilize citizens and local government authorities (LGAs) efforts towards women and girls rights in order to achieve sustainable community development.
In many initiatives supported by CEDC, the aim is to change the mind set and negative perceptions in target communities concerning these HTPs. Also the focus is on increasing the capacity of community and victims to identify and report offenses to law enforcement agencies, while at same time strengthening of existing systems and structures at all levels in identifying, reporting and resolving these issues.Principally, CEDC works with grassroots CSOs in target communities and districts/regions. Some of the strategies and approaches we use include: