UN Women & Unilever Launch New Partnership
6,000 workers and their families and up to 1,000 women smallholder farmers to be impacted.
Today in Mufindi, Iringa Region, UN Women launched a new partnership with Unilever Tanzania Tea that will work through a two-year programme: "Strengthening Unilever’s Women’s Safety Work to Prevent and Respond to Sexual Harassment and other forms of Gender-Based Violence."
The programme will be implemented in the Unilever Tea Tanzania plantations located Mufindi and Njombe. This programme forms part of UN Women’s Global Flagship Program: “The Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces”, launched in the same year that UN Women was established in 2010. It also follows a realization that although violence against women in other domains such as at household level, is widely recognised as a human rights violation, violence that occurs in public spaces, including workplaces, is largely neglected despite its severe impacts on the wellbeing of women and girls.
The programme will target 6,000 workers and their families and up to 1,000 women smallholder farmers in the surrounding areas. Speaking at the launch, the UN Women Representative, Ms. Hodan Addou said the initiative was to ensure that women and girls are safe and do not continue experiencing violence or live in fear, as this stifled their growth potential.
“When women and girls experience violence, they are robbed of their right to freedom and participation and ultimately, negatively affect progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment efforts in Tanzania,” Ms Addou said.
The partnership will focus on providing capacity development support and long-term strategic planning to ensure continuity of interventions. By strengthening the capacities of Unilever staff, national and local partners in Njombe and Mufindi, UN Women will provide partners with adequate systems, skills and tools for sustained change and development through stakeholder ownership during and after the program implementation.
According to Tanzania’s Demographic and Health Survey of 2015/16, an estimated 40 percent of women aged between 15 and 49 have experienced physical violence while 17 percent are survivors of sexual violence. Globally, one in three women have suffered sexual violence while an estimated 15 million adolescent girls worldwide have experienced Rape.
Ms. Addou said violation of the rights of women exacts a high toll on survivors, their loved ones and, ultimately, on everybody, including affecting organizations’ productivity and growth of economies.