Holistic education approach is what holds the global key to social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
BBC World Service Senior Broadcast Journalist and Lead Presenter, Zuhura Yunus, set this module during her visit and interview at the Kilimanjaro Dialogue Institute (KDI) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in the echo of the 2019 International Women’s Day.
Participating in a KDI programme attended by the Institute’s President Ali Akkiz and Secretary General Hassan Mzighani, Zuhura observed: “It is a quarter of a century since theBeijing Declaration and Platform for Action was resolved under the leadership of Tanzania’s Mama Getrude Mongella for that matter; but the world is still grappling with paving the way for the review of the implementation process.
“A lot has been done. But we are not yet there. Girl school dropouts, school pregnancies, early marriage, unfavourable girl to boy access ratio to higher and professional education, sex corruption, sexual harassment are still here with us.”
Zuhura noted that, however, environment and times have changed. In the absence of an alternative what does a secondary school girl leaver do at eighteen years? Stick around and risk a marriage chance?
Parents on the whole are not very open to children on sexual abuse issues. Teachers don’t address such issues at school. To make it worse, there is nothing more traumatizing like giving court evidence in sexual abuse cases. At times, due to ignorance, victims destroy evidence. Most cases can be traced to relatives, making it difficult to pursue and prosecute.
In this circumstance, Zuhura sees it as paramount to establish a holistic education approach embracing the children, parents and members of society across the board. She is of the opinion that school curricula should include topics on sexual abuse.
Consideration must be given to making vocational training legally binding for primary school leavers who do not make it to secondary school. The same should apply to secondary school leavers not seeing the gate of higher learning institutions. This will help them learn a trade while providing answers to other age related social problems.
Zuhura buys the opinion of Åsa Regnér, UN Women Deputy Executive Director for “groundbreaking shifts in personal status laws, in rights becoming more equal, and in women taking on positions of leadership.”However, women must add value to their leadership qualities.
Zooming on Tanzania, she laments the absence of a record of women’s contribution to the country’s development scanning the fight for independence to the present day. “I’ve been to the museum. All I could see is just one unrepresentative picture of Bibi Titi Mohammed addressing a public rally. Nothing more! Something has got to be done to document women’s contribution to nation building on the Mainland and in the Isles.”