Gender training inspires CSO to counter ‘Unyago’ rituals among girls

With the aid of gender mainstreaming training offered by the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) towards end of 2015, for its part, Chama cha Kupambana na Virusi vya UKIMWI Shuleni (CHAKUMUMA) based in Tandahimba district, Mtwara region has gone the extra mile – aspiring to use the education to counter the prominent ‘Unyango’ rituals which subsequently tends to push girl children out of school.

Speaking in Tandahimba during a post-training assessment visit conducted by the FCS in mid March, CHAKUMUMA chairman, Mr. Rafael Munanka said the CSO feels inspired and wants to advocate for girls’ equal rights to education by eliminating ‘unyago’, since the rituals are increasingly becoming out of hand and contribute significantly in denying girl children’s rights to complete formal education. 

The unyago rituals usually take place to celebrate the coming of age of girls or during weddings. In those rituals, it is alleged that older women would teach the young ones about sexual and conjugal life. These rituals would last for several days and be accompanied by dances and music.

Mr. Munanka says: “We have therefore shared the knowledge acquired from the FCS training with other CSOs in Mtwara region so that we can all join forces and hence tail off the traditional practices of Unyago that undermine the girl child’s right to education upon reaching puberty age.”

However, Munanka concluded that the gender mainstreaming knowledge has also given them a new dimension on how to run affairs in their organisation - by respecting gender issues through giving equal opportunities to women so that they too can offer their contributions, as well as occupy leadership positions.

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