16 Days of Activism takes place annually from 25th November to 10th December. In 2019 6,000 organisations across 187 countries used this time to drive the call for the elimination of all forms of gender-based violence. Rhobi Samwell and the Hope team participate in the campaign each year along with girls who have escaped to the Hope safe houses. This helps to educate those in the local community about the dangers of the practice of FGM and to give the girls a voice.
This year, Mugumu Police Officer Sijali Nyambuche educated those gathered about the Law on marriage in Tanzania, which states that a girl is supposed to get married only from 18 years of age, not earlier. This was an important message to share with the community and the audience which included men, women and children.
Following Siyali’s speech, our heroine Rhobi Mwita, shared her story on escaping FGM. It is important for everyone to hear stories like this, particularly in communities where FGM is still happening. It provides hope for young girls who may be concerned they will have to go through it too, but it also shows adults and parents that FGM needs to end and that girls and women are now standing up for their right to make decisions about their own bodies.