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“Save the Space” – Editors’ breakfast meeting

On 8 October, 2018, the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Tanzania and the Tanzania Media Women’s Association, hosted an editors’ breakfast meeting for both the traditional media and social media influencers from across Tanzania.

The editors’ breakfast meeting took place a day before the National Dialogue on FGM, Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancies – 9 to 11, October.  The National Dialogue, attended by a wide range of participants, discussed promising interventions, consolidated good practices and committed to action to end all forms of harmful practices that affect the women and girls of Tanzania, with a specific focus on developing action plans for six regions of Tanzania with the highest prevalence of FGM, child marriage and teenage pregnancies.

The objective of the editors’ meeting was to facilitate evidence-based reporting of harmful practices that affect women and girls and to engage the media in advocacy efforts to amplify discussions at the National Dialogue through their respective platforms.

Seven national newspapers, eight community radio stations, five national radio stations and six national TV stations provided coverage of discussions at the National Dialogue over the course of the week. Articles in the media included the Government’s directive to all heads of primary and secondary schools to keep records of girls who drop out of school due to early marriage and teenage pregnancy, and their commitment to establish additional One Stop Centres and Gender and Children’s Desks across Tanzania that ensure both prevention and response services for women and child survivors of violence.

Now that the Dialogue has ended the media has a key role to play to keep the people of Tanzania informed about FGM, child marriage and teenage pregnancies to shape dialogues that lead to policy change.