March 8th 2016 was ‘International Women’s Day’ (IWD), ‘a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity’. The theme for IWD in 2016 was 'Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality'.

In commemoration of this day, GR Tanzania organised a seminar for all Mafinga township Secondary Schools Girls. The seminar focused Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Violence Against Children (VAC). The main speaker was Ms. Faith Dewasi, Program Officer of Engender Health (www.engenderhealth.org), an NGO based in Iringa. Engender Health is collaborating with GR TZ to providing health services to workers and communities surrounding the GR operations (amongst the services provided are: Family Planning; Voluntary Counselling and Testing for HIV; and Training of GR Peer Health Educators).

The Guest of Honour at the event was the Mufindi Deputy District Executive Director Ms. Martha William Kimambo. The event took place on 5th March 2016 at J.J. Mungai Secondary School Hall, Mafinga and the key issues presented were:

  • Types and causes of GBV and VAC
  • Magnitude of GBV and VAC in Tanzania in general and Iringa in particular
  • Effects of GBV and VAC to the society
  • Life Cycle of Violence against Women
  • The Link between Poverty, HIV infections and GBV

Of the 1,100 attendees to the event, there were: 980 students from secondary schools and Community Development Training Institutes; female employees from GR Tanzania; and women leaders in Mufindi District (including a Mufindi Court Magistrate, Principal of the Clinical Officers Training Centre, Manager of Tanzania Telecommunications Co. Ltd - Mufindi, Principal of the Rungemba CDTI, Director of KAPS CDTI, General Manager of Chai Bora, Primary & Secondary School Head Teachers, and Female Entrepreneurs).

GR facilitated the event, and provided participants with entertainment, soft drinks, snacks, lunch, and prizes for winners of the GBV and VAC knowledge competition. The program was covered in national media by Star Television.

The Seminar has helped to bridge the ‘knowledge gap’ associated with issues of GBV and VAC, which continues to affect Tanzanian society, especially girls and women. The day received positive feedback from students, invitees and the Mufindi District Council. GR would like to thank all those that took part in the day, and hopes that the information provided will help to address issues of gender equality amongst the communities where GR operates.

GR is committed to working towards promoting Women’s rights, and addressing gender equality issues within the organisation, as well as the communities in which it works. Across the forestry sector and related industries there is a disparity in gender representation. GR is making strides to address this, and continually reviews its activities to ensure that it is promoting equality (in all aspects) across the organisation and its employment process. At present 35% of GR Tanzania employees are women. The company will continue to work on achieving equality and partner with local organisations to address these issues, and help support the social, economic, and cultural achievements of the women and girls in its organisation and local communities.

For the full press release click here

For more information please contact:

Roselyne Mariki, Managing Director Green Resources, Tanzania (roselyne.mariki@greenresources.no)

Emma Shepheard-Walwyn, Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations Manager, Green Resources UK (emma.shepheard-walwyn@greenresources.no)

Mads Asprem, CEO Green Resources AS (mads.asprem@greenresources.no)

For more information on IWD see: www.internationalwomensday.com


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