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Tanzania

Flying south for ‘a global angle to our local work’ - Six project women off to Dar es Salaam By SARAH-BETH WATKINS SIX women from the Community Development Programme and other community projects are travelling to Tanzania this September. They will participate in the 2007 Gender Festival in the capital, Dar es Salaam. Next year, Tanzanian gender specialists will visit their Irish counterparts for a fortnight. The exchange is with the Tanzanian Gender Networking Programme (TGNP) an organisation that works for gender equality, social transformation and women’s empowerment. The lucky six from Ireland - Aoife Cooke – Tallaght Intercultural Action, Breda Murphy – Waterford Women’s Centre, Jo Lambe – Open Door Network, Niamh Farren – the Media Co-op, Sarah Oates – Tuam CDP and myself – Templeshannon CDP - will be making presentations at the Gender Festival. Over the course of two weeks, we will be talking to women’s organisations in Tanzania about the issues facing women in both

countries including health, domestic violence, interculturalism, women in poverty and community education. The exchange will look at how women in Ireland can work in solidarity with women in the South to promote human rights. On coming home, Breda and her companions will report back to a wide variety of groups and women’s networks they are involved in and get media coverage for the issues. The exchange should help raise awareness of gender and development issues. In 2008, Banulacht and TGNP will organise a return visit for women in Tanzania. • For more information, contact any of the above CDPs or Banúlacht (T: 01-872-3039. W: www.banulacht.ie) Also, check out: www.tgnp.org NOTE: A follow up report on the exchange will appear in the next edition.

“This exchange will benefit our organisation by giving a global perspective on the work we do and getting some new ideas,” says Breda Murphy, co-ordinator of Waterford Women's Centre. “Our Women’s Centre works with many African women who live in Waterford and supports the African Women’s Forum and this exchange would deepen our understanding on how to support these women.” Waterford Women’s Centre work through capacity building programmes for women in order to encourage and support activism and Breda is receiving great support from everyone in the centre. “It is seen very much as a project visit and one that will enhance and broaden the work we do. A table quiz is being organised to raise funds for the visit and the support I have received in relation to this is enormous. Everyone wants to be part of and contribute to the exchange and is as excited about it as I am.”

What is a Gender Festival? THE 2007 Gender Festival in Tanzania will be held in the capital, Dar es Salaam, with the theme "Gender, Democracy and Development: African Feminist Struggles in the Context of Globalisation". Last year, the conference attracted over 2000 women throughout the course of the four-day event. Discussions at this year’s Gender Festival will focus on corporate-led globalisation and ‘free-market’ ideology. It will look at the impact of globalisation on development and democracy in Africa and the world over. The Tanzanian Gender Festival is an open forum for like-minded individuals changing ireland

and organisations to share experiences, knowledge, build capacity and plan collectively for social transformation with a gender perspective. The four-day event brings together gender focus groups, civil society organisations, activists, government sectors and other actors working at various levels. The activist-style Festival combined speeches, paper presentations, case studies and workshops with art performances and an exhibition. Countries represented in the past included Kenya, Sudan, South Africa, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Uganda, the USA and Britain. And now Ireland.

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Child-murder provokes protests

MODERN Ireland occasionally reels in horror as the media report on parents who murder their children. Depression is frequently cited as a factor. In Tanzania, the context is different, but the outcome the same – parents occasionally murder their children or order their killing. In May of last year, Sooi Sadira, a village girl of 12, was murdered on her father’s orders after she refused an arranged marriage with a 30-year-old man. She was raped on the first night with her new husband. She ran away but was caught by her father and beaten to death by local youths with sticks. Six months ago, two local NGOs organised a 300-person demonstration to condemn the killing. Sooi's father went on the run.

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