On March 8, 2023 UZIKWASA brought together a big crowd of people at Stahabu village to commemorate International Women’s Day and celebrate achievements of women in Pangani District and elsewhere in the world. Alongside others the event was attended by Pangani communities who have been supported by UZIKWASA in their efforts towards gender justice and gender equality in Pangani district. It has been an excellent opportunity for participants to share approaches and strategies that address violence against women and children and the protection of the environment. For example, representative from the Pangani Police gender desk responded to NPA committee members’ concerns about community’s reluctance to testify in court to help to conclude cases of gender-based violence and violence against children. They pointed out how much this has hindered justice taking its course for victims of violence. This was confirmed by officers from other District departments including community development and social welfare.
Members of Stahabu village environment committee pointed out the importance to take legal action against people who cut down trees and break laws that restrict environmental pollution. Most important that it is everyone’s responsibility to take action against environmental deterioration that contribute to climate change.
Artists led by the popular Pangani theatre group famously known as Banja Bas and the new generation music group Wachunguzi inspired the audience with their performances and messages addressing gender violence, violence against children and climate change.
One of the theatre performances that caught the audience’s attention was about parent’s role in early marriage and school dropouts of girl children as a consequence.
This year was the first time for village environment committees to participate in the International Women’s Day commemoration after UZIKWASA facilitated them to incorporate gender issues into their village action plans.
“These events are very important because to make many people aware of the importance of caring for our environment in order to ensure the safety for our children and women who must walk long distances to find water and firewood.” – Rajabu Mohamed from Stahabu Village