About two weeks ago, on March 8th, the world celebrated a very special day: International Women's Day. International Women's Day is a global day recognizing and celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender parity. This year's campaign runs under the international theme „Balance For Better“. On a national level in Tanzania the theme is “Badili Fikra kuelekea usawa wa kijinsia kwa maendeleo endelevu” (in English: Change our perception and recognize gender equality to attain sustainable development). In honor of this important day different activities and celebrations took place in Kilimanjaro Region. AJISO participated in Moshi Urban, Rombo District, Mwanga District and Hai District. Moshi We are proud to announce that our Executive Director Virginia Silayo received the Award ya Recognition of Outstanding Performance, Inspiration and Innovation Ideas, That Have Impacted Positively Kilimanjaro Region from NMB Bank Plc Nelson Mandela Branch. The fact that the society recognizes and values our work in Kilimanjaro Region gives us great pleasure.AJISO's Legal Officer Angelina Salewa participated, in cooperation with a paralegal from Moshi Rural and officers from KWIECO (Kilimanjaro Women Information Ex-change And Community Organisation) and Moshi Municipal Council, in a discussion on violence against women on live radio. We appreciated the opportunity to inform a wide range of people about the work AJISO has been and is doing and are happy to raise awareness on this important topic. Two shows aired on Fountain Radio and Santi ya Injili. Virginia Silayo receiving the award Hundreds of people went out on the street and marched to honor and campaign for women's rights. We were pleased to not only see women standing up for their rights but also men supporting them. The following celebration included the opening of Moshi's women's forum, a safe place for women to discuss what's on their mind and exchange ideas openly and freely. Political leaders, representatives from immigration, PCCB (Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau), different NGOs and a councilor from Mawenzi ward attended. Speeches given by the chairwoman of the women's forum and the guest of honor, Rombo's district commissioner Agnes Hokororo, focused on the achievements of women in Tanzania as well as the challenges they are still facing. Agnes Hokororo encouraged and urged to change the society's perception of a woman's status. She appealed to the government to do their share in empowering women. One step has already been taken in issuing the National Plan of Action to End Violence Against Women and Children in Tanzania. She reminded people to be aware of the still exciting health risks due to HIV/AIDS, take the necessary precautions and get checked. Rayline Ndanshau and volunteer Daniela Meyer representing AJISO in Moshi Rombo At the celebration in Rombo District the women of the VICOBA groups displayed their handmade craft which they sell to make an income. Our Executive Director Virginia Silayo addressed the audience: “We are pleased with the events' excellent resonance and to find somany people caring and raising their voice. We are working hard towards our vision: a society which values, respects and protects social justice to women and children. The school clubs we have set up achieve successes in protecting children from violence. The VICOBA groups we work with allow women to gain independence. We would not have been able to achieve all of this without the help of our donor Bread For The World. We are grateful for their generous support which helped us forming the VICOBA groups in Rombo District as well as the 20 school clubs we run there.” She also referred to the invitation we got a few days before International Women's Day by the District's Commissioner to lecture about the National Plan of Action to End Violence Against Women and Children in Tanzania and how to implement it in Rombo, and expressed our gratitude for this opportunity and their confidence in us. AJISO's Executive Director Virginia Silayo in Rombo District Mwanga In Mwanga District the district's women and children spoke up about how they are being harassed by men in society. Mwanga's District Commissioner clarified that thing's need to change and declared to aim at gender equality and protection from violence.Due to the work we have been doing in Mwanga lately, we were recognized by the District and got the chance to inform about AJISO's working methods. With great pleasure we observed the overwhelming resonance. Many schools approached us for cooperation. Women emphasize challenges they and their children face in a song Hai The celebration in Hai District was attended by the guest of honor the district's executive director, as well as female representatives from each ward in Hai District and representatives from different NGOs. AJISO's Legal Advocate Victor Laswai was invited to inform about property rights, especially the issue of ownership of land. According to the law women and men equally have the right to own land. Other speakers encouraged women to join VICOBA groups, to support each other in order to make an income which enables them to take care of their families. They reminded them how important it is to report cases of violence and abuse and strengthened to be strong and to fight for their rights!