16 Days of Activism against Gender-based violence

Today is the last day for commemorating 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. This year’s focus is on the women who are working in the informal sector, “According to the ILO, 58% of women globally are employed in the informal economy and in developing countries up to 92% are so employed.”

The conversation is around housemaids, waste pickers, mamantilie, street vendors and more, their working environment exposes them to even greater risk of harassment & gender-based violence. ” They are often victims of wage theft and other forms of economic exploitation without any recourse. Physical, emotional and/ or sexual violence, harassment, and abuse are common” .

These women play a significant role in most people’s lives, most people grow up in households with housemaids, agricultural workers enables the food to reach in the markets, waste pickers clean our streets and street vendors are always there to save the day. They do what they do because their service is important and necessary therefore we must protect them. We can all be pioneers for change & stand against harassment and gender-based violence.

Here are few ways you can be apart of the movement:

  • Call out abusers/harassers/perpetuators: This doesn’t just apply to strangers but even to those you know, If they do inappropriate actions towards these women, you must call them out. 
  • Encourage the victims to speak up: There is help. When they speak up then that help will reach them. 
  • Be a listener – If a victim or a survivor of harassment and gender-based violence opens up to you, all you need to do is listen, do not shut them down or find excuses to blame them. 
  • Encourage them to seek help- OVAH provides a reporting tool for sexual abuse and harassment & assist the victims with necessary help & support. Most police stations in Tanzania also have gender desks, a very helpful avenue to report abuse, harassment, and violence against children and women.
  • Offer your service – Abuse, harassment, and violence can be traumatic therefore if you are a psychologist you can offer your services for free to individuals or organizations like OVAH. 

A special shout out to HudumaSmart, a social enterprise in Tanzania runs the Nilinde Dada wa Kazi Campaign, They provide awareness about domestic work labor laws and rights to both domestic workers and their employers. The awareness campaign is a solution to the prevailing domestic work violence.