Silence of the law kills women in Tanzania

By Modeckai Francis

Mbagala, Tanzania.

Everyday, women are being physically assaulted by their husbands in Mbagala due to alcohol abuse and a lack of law enforcement by their respective ward leaders.

Neema Jaccob (28), known as Mama Jackson, is a victim of domestic abuse. She claims that she has been beaten by her husband several times after he would come back from a night of drinking. She used to report this abuse to the local authority leaders of the ward in hopes that they would help her, but when they would call her husband and threaten to arrest him he would simply pay them off.

She claims that this is a common habit of authority leaders whereby they do not obey the laws of the country on corruption and violate the rights of women by allowing domestic violence to continue.

She has since stopped reporting abuse to the authorities in fear of the threats that have been made by her husband, if she reports him again he will torture her to death and stop providing for her family.

Domestic abuse of women is a big problem for families in Tanzania. Women are being beaten without any support from local authorities or properly protected by the laws that protect them. This results in more violence and death in society. According to The Citizen newspaper, on Monday August 5th, a man was reported to have been killed by angry villagers after allegedly strangling his wife at Kinsangwa village in Bunda district during an open-house ceremony.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 1.6 million of people in the world die due to violence, whereby in Dar es salaam the number has increased more than  41% since 2005.

The International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) published a report in April 2013 stating that unless the rights of vulnerable groups, such as women and children, are seriously observed and support centres established, this problem will continue to grow in Tanzanian society.

Modeckai is the former Project Director of AIESEC-SAUT and also a former Project Adviser of the Sauti ya Watoto Foundation. He loves working with different projects to explore and develop his potential and knowledge of diverse societal perspectives, especially those concerning the respect of all human rights.

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