Source: Tanzania Daily News
Poverty and inferiority complex are among reasons which make women in Tanga region lead a hard life and thus expose them to gender-based violence.

To address gender violence women need to take the initiative to fight poverty by engaging in income-generating activities and thus contribute to the family's welfare.

This was said by the Executive Director of Tree of Hope, a nongovernmental organization (NGO)based in Tanga city, Ms Fortunata Manyeresa, in one of a series of seminars organized for religious leaders in Tanga region.

She said women were victims of gender-based violence in marital life due to their inferiority complex, which originated from their poor economic status.

"Women must increase their value in the family; they must be contributors to the family's income through what they do... we have opportunities to engage in entrepreneurship.

If women do so they will reduce their dependence on their husbands and this will accord them respect," she suggested.

The NGO's lawyer, Mr Warehema Kibaha, said sodomy among married couples was one of the areas of gender-based violence in the region. He said they have been receiving cases of women claiming to have been sodomized by their husbands seeking legal assistance in order to dissolve their marriages.

"Gender violence differs from one region to another. In Tanga region wife battery is not quite an issue; the main problem here is sodomy.

Women often come to us claiming to have been sodomized by their husbands. This is very bad," he said, calling on clerics to play their part and rebuke such actions because the culprits were some of their believers," he said.

Bishop Joshua Isazi challenged activists and government officials to collaborate with religious leaders in fighting genderbased violence in the region. Tree of Hope is funded by an international aid organisation, Oxfam, to conduct seminars for various social groups in a move to combat GBV.

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