A cultural break on gender

The UN SDG 5 actively calls for gender equality and empowerment of women and this is an agenda that needs immediate action in our community as we advocate for economic and social development. A hindrance to this is seen in practices that affect girls. FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) remains widespread in rural areas and uncircumcised women are turned down in marriage. Female children are not taken to school and are married off at a younger age. Teenage pregnancies have taken on as a result with a recent significance rise necessitating action to some capacity to educate all stakeholders and protect the interests and future prospects of the girl child.  The Arusha hub is thus proposing a solution of educating communities, (specifically the male side of families, village elders and other stakeholders) with the prime objective of ending negative cultural and widely accepted practices that consistently enforce gender stereotypes that devalue the girl child physically, emotionally, denial of rights or in terms of her future prospects. Such practises can only be neglected if the men are involved in condemning and advocating in defense of the women and girls.  In doing the above, the Arusha hub aims to achieve multiple objectives, namely: 1) Actively engage in the training and education of boys and fathers on their treatment of the girl child in all aspects, including emphasizing that the girl child has basic human rights that must also be respected. 2) Change the perception held by young boys as to the role of the girl child in the family, thus ensuring sustained impact in subsequent generations. 3) Promote education of the girl child as the best alternative for improving the familyâ's economic status and ending the cycle of poverty in the long run, relative to forced marriage. 4) Promote representation and inclusion of women in decision making for matters pertaining to family affairs, 5) Promote understanding amongst male members of the family on the reproductive health of women and harmful FGM practices and in doing so foster greater patience and assistance by male members when young girls are faced with such issues.