June 14, 2016

A Force for Good: Engaging Men to Prevent Violence in Tanzania

This post originally appeared on EngenderHealth’s website. Reposted with permission.

“The preponderance of gender-based violence is staggering; globally, one in three women will be affected by it in her lifetime. It exists in every culture, class, and country—note one of us is immune.” —Mira Sorvino, Academy Award-winning actress, mother, activist

Today, as we recognize the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we want to reflect on the progress that we are making toward ending violence for good.

Meet Enock Henjewele from Tanzania, a champion in his own right whose fierce determination is helping his family and community live free of violence. Enock, married with five children, lives in Iringa, a district of Tanzania. As in many parts of the world, gender-based violence is a daily reality for many women in Tanzania—almost half of women under 50 say they have been physically or sexually assaulted at some point in their lives.

“My marriage was not always as it is now,” says Enock. Like many in his community, Enock was brought up believing that men are the ones in charge and that men’s use of violence against women was a necessary means of maintaining that male dominance. Enock never questioned his use of violence or the social messages surrounding masculinity—for Enock, violence was simply what was to be expected between husband and wife.

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