In order to raise awareness on gender-based violence issues through the media, MenEngage Tanzania partners have been actively involved in writing articles for local newspapers to draw attention to key advocacy dates, as well as in response to other articles that negatively portray GBV-related issues. MenEngage Tanzania is a network built upon shared consensus, thus the development of articles and participation in media interviews rotates amongst network members. Here are some examples of MenEngage Tanzania’s media work.
|In Issue 4|
In October 2012, several network members collectively responded to an article on overcoming teenage pregnancies. The article spoke about the imprisonment of pregnant teenagers for 6 months and offenders for 30 years as a way of preventing teenage pregnancies in the Handeni District of Tanzania. In its response, the network stressed that this policy would only exacerbate wider social issues in Tanzania such as gender-based violence. Instead, the network urged for increased sexual and reproductive health education within schools and the need to reintegrate teenage mothers back into schools.
To mark World AIDS Day on December 1st 2012, the network wrote an article on the importance of engaging men in preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT). Drawing upon the importance of male participation in the health and well-being of their family, the article encouraged health facilities, communities and individuals to recognize the roles and responsibilities of men in supporting their partners in PMTCT.
For International Women’s Day on March 8th 2013, network members wrote two articles focused on male engagement in ending child marriages, which were published in the Tanzania AIDS Week in Review magazine and the local newspaper, Habari Leo. In these articles, men were encouraged to challenge such harmful traditions that deny young girls the right to education and meaningful lives.
Finally, on White Ribbon Day on March 15th 2013, various network members participated in interviews on local TV and radio stations. The interviews called for individuals, health facilities and policy makers to recognize their roles and responsibilities in ensuring that men’s involvement in maternal and child health is both encouraged and maintained.
MenEngage Tanzania Advocacy Materials
The MenEngage Tanzania network has also been busy developing materials to extend and develop our advocacy efforts. Following the decision of the network to support the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare’s National Elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV Plan (2012-2015), through a focus on male engagement, MenEngage Tanzania produced their own t-shirts with the slogan ‘Mwanaume Jilinde Uwalinde’, which translates to ‘Men, Protect Yourselves Protect Them’. The t-shirts were distributed during the MTCT Dialogue and will be worn by activists during forthcoming network events.
Additionally, English and Kiswahili factsheets have been developed on why it is important to engage men and boys in HIV and GBV prevention, and sexual and reproductive health. Factsheets are recognized as an effective communication tool as they can present key information in a clear, concise and creative manner – especially when translated into a range of languages. The MenEngage Tanzania factsheets have been distributed at numerous advocacy events, including 16 Days of Activism and International Women’s Day.
MenEngages media work and advocacy materials have enabled the network to build the capacity of its partners in increasing their knowledge and advocacy efforts around male engagement in HIV and GBV prevention and sexual and reproductive health.