The International Women’s Day is commemorated worldwide on the 8th of March every year. The Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) works closely with its members, especially those who defend Women’s Rights in rural areas.

The International Women’s Day is commemorated worldwide on the 8th of March every year. The Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) works closely with its members, especially those who defend Women’s Rights in rural areas. Therefore, in recognition of women’s achievements worldwide, and particularly women human rights defenders working in remote/rural areas, THRDC decided to recognize and award certificates of recognition to prominent Rural Women HRDs whom despite the many challenges they had been facing in the fulfilment of their human rights work, they still defended other people’s rights. THRDC Congratulates them. The International Women’s Day is commemorated worldwide on the 8th of March every year. The Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) works closely with its members, especially those who defend Women’s Rights in rural areas. Therefore, in recognition of women’s achievements worldwide, and particularly women human rights defenders working in remote/rural areas, THRDC decided to recognize and award certificates of recognition to prominent Rural Women HRDs whom despite the many challenges they had been facing in the fulfilment of their human rights work, they still defended other people’s rights. THRDC Congratulates them.
Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) is an umbrella organization of more than 150 members who defend human rights through 9 human rights thematic areas; Women and Child Rights being one of them.
THRDC, therefore, recognized the contribution made by prominent Rural Women Human Rights Defenders throughout 2018/2019 in a very special way. This year’s theme is: “RECOGNIZING AND AMPLIFYING THE VOICES OF RURAL WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS”.
Therefore, in commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day, on 8th March 2019, the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) in collaboration with Youth Partnership Countrywide (YPC) and THRDC’s members in the Coastal Region, visited more than 50 rural women human rights defenders in the region, to know how they operate, to understand their challenges and gaps but also fill those gaps by building their capacity in defending human rights. All this was aimed at creating a safe and assured space for the good work being done by Women HRDs. In the course of this, we also recognized 10 prominent rural women human rights defenders.
While recognizing these prominent rural women human rights defenders, THRDC pointed out prevailing challenges including gender-based violence against women and the recent child killings in Njombe and Simiyu regions.
The Tanzania Police Force is already taking action, by investigating the core of these violations against the rights of women and children, in order to thoroughly identify emerging gaps in the protection of these groups in Tanzania. Let’s not forget that Women have nurtured us and are pillars of our nation. We believe our police force will act fairly and accordingly by conducting thorough investigations to identify and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Women HRDs, have been facing many security challenges such as threats, being branded bad names like marriage wreckers and enemies of their own cultures. Others like Ms Sofia Donald and many others have also been maliciously prosecuted in the past.
THRDC, therefore, recognized the following prominent Rural Women Human Rights Defenders who excelled in their work throughout 2018/2019 despite many challenges they had faced;

TANZANIA HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS COALITION (THRDC) RECOGNIZED THE FOLLOWING 10 DISTINGUISHED RURAL WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS: 


1. MS. STORY SAMMATA

ORGANIZATION: WAVUMA

LOCATION: KIBAHA

Ms. Sammata defends women and children against violence. She has been providing legal aid to girls to help them get education. The major challenges she faces are harassment and threats from fewer community members who do not understand the importance of human rights.


2. LAETITIA PETRO

ORGANIZATION: SAUTI YA HAKI TANZANIA

LOCATION: MBEYA

She defends Women and Children living in vulnerable conditions in Rungwe district in Mbeya City. She also provides legal aid to community members in need. The challenges Ms. Laetitia faces are being perceived as fraudulent, being deprecated, critiqued and being threatened.


3. JUDITH CHITANDA

ORGANIZATION: MTWARA PARALEGAL CENTRE

LOCATION: MTWARA

She defends women against gender based violence, repressive traditional practices and empowering women to acquire land ownership rights.


4. MARIAM TUNGARAZAORGANIZATION: SAUTI YA WANAWAKE UKEREWE (SAWAU)LOCATION: UKEREWE – MWANZAShe defends women and children by providing legal aid. She also supports women by building their capacity to be economically independent. Among the challenges she encounters is the lack of support in collection of evidence from legal entities.


5. SOFIA DONALD

ORGANIZATION: SAUTI YA WANAWAKE UKEREWE (SAWAU)

LOCATION: UKEREWE – MWANZA

She works to ensure that she eliminates gender based violence in the regions around Lake Victoria by promoting women and youth to have one voice in promoting gender equality. In 2018, Ms. Sophia was arrested for allegedly coordinating the delivery of reproductive health education and services to young girls between 15 and 19 years of age.


6. FATMA MARZOUK KOMBO

ORGANIZATION: JUKUWAM

LOCATION: PEMBA

She is a child rights defender working in Pemba. Among the challenges she faces is a negative attitude of her work from among community members in issues related to child rights that has led to lack of support from her community while carrying out her duties.


7. MANYARA KARIA

LOCATION: NGORONGOROKaria is a Pastoralists’ rights defender from Ngorongoro. She defends he community against land grabbing, as well as resolving land disputes while struggling to raise her community’s economic status.


8. SION KIRAINE

LOCATION: LONGIDO

She defends women and children through provision of legal aid. She also helps her fellow women gain economic independence. Among the challenges she faces is the lack of support in evidence collection from legal entities.


9. YASINTA AMBROSE

ORGANIZATION: KIGOMA PARALEGAL CENTRE (KIPACE)

LOCATION: KIGOMA

She defends women against gender based violence, repressive traditional practices and providing legal aid. Ms. Yasinta has received a number of verbal threats as well as threats of assault.


10. MAGRETH MWASHINANI

ORGANIZATION: MBEYA HOPE FOR ORPHANS

LOCATION: MBEYA

She defends child rights and provides legal aid to her community. She also provides childcare and education to orphaned children.




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