Rosemary Senyamule Illuminates Dodoma with a Vision of Hope in the Fight Against Gender-Based Violence Reporter

In the midst of Tanzania’s vast landscapes, the words of Rosemary Senyamule, Regional Commissioner (RC) of Dodoma, shine as a beacon of hope in the relentless battle against gender-based violence (GBV). Her impassioned address, laden with stark realities and unwavering resolve, paints a vivid picture of a region at a turning point. This long feature story delves into the depths of her address, uncovering the layers of challenges, victories, and aspirations in the fight against GBV in Dodoma.

Rosemary Senyamule’s Crusade Against GBV

“It’s not just a fight; it’s a crusade for dignity and life,” asserts Senyamule, reflecting the gravity of GBV in Dodoma. Her leadership has been pivotal in steering the region towards tangible change. The establishment of the integrated service center at the provincial referral hospital, a milestone she proudly mentions, has already impacted 237 lives since its inception. “Remember, in the Dodoma region, this year for the first time we launched an integrated center for receiving victims of gender-based violence,” she recalls, marking a historic stride in support services for survivors.

The Unyielding Adversary: Cultural and Traditional Norms

The battle against GBV in Dodoma is entrenched in deep-rooted cultural and traditional norms. The alarming statistics of female genital mutilation in Chemba and Kondoa DC, as highlighted by Senyamule, are not just numbers but stories of silent agony. “In Kondoa district council, we led with 2569 incidents of female genital mutilation in 2021,” Senyamule points out, underscoring the magnitude of the cultural battle ahead.

Empowerment Through Education

A significant thrust of Senyamule’s strategy lies in education and empowerment. She champions the initiatives led by educators and community leaders, who instill in children the courage to reject violence and understand its perils. “Refuse, say no, refuse money,” she urges, encapsulating her message of empowerment and awareness.

The Role of the Legal System

The legal framework in Dodoma has evolved to become a formidable force against GBV, as evidenced by Senyamule’s address. The RC highlights the legal victories, noting, “From January to June 2023, there were six sentences in cases of rape and sodomy.” These legal outcomes are not just punitive measures but also serve as a deterrent and a symbol of the state’s commitment to justice.

Challenges: A Persistent Battle

Despite these strides, challenges abound. The persistent incidents of GBV, coupled with deep-seated cultural practices, present a complex scenario. Senyamule’s call to action is a reminder of the multifaceted nature of this battle, one that requires a collective and sustained effort. “This is a journey of resilience, a commitment to change,” she emphasizes, calling upon every segment of society to partake in this fight.

Community Involvement and Support Systems

The RC stresses the importance of community involvement and robust support systems. She outlines the various reporting channels available for GBV incidents, advocating for a community-based approach to tackling the issue. “Report to a health service center, report to a gender and children’s desk at the police station,” she advises, highlighting the multi-tiered support network in place.

Prevention: The First Line of Defense

Prevention through education and awareness remains a cornerstone of Dodoma’s strategy against GBV. Senyamule speaks of the need to empower children and adults alike to recognize and report signs of violence. “Prevention is better than cure,” she asserts, advocating for proactive measures to curb the incidence of GBV.

Looking to the Future

As the region looks ahead, Senyamule’s words resonate with hope and determination. “We are on a journey towards a future where gender-based violence is not just reduced but eradicated,” she envisions. Her leadership and the collective efforts of the community signal a future where GBV is confronted not with silence, but with action and resolve.

RC Rosemary’s address is not just a reflection of the current state of GBV in Dodoma but a rallying cry for continued action. It’s a narrative that intertwines the harsh realities of violence with the unyielding spirit of a community poised for change. As the region forges ahead under her guidance, there is a growing sense of optimism that the shadows of gender-based violence can be lifted, paving the way for a safer, more equitable society.