Recently, The United Nations Association of Tanzania conducted participatory video workshop training to a group of 8 women who practice the culture of women marrying women (Nyumba Nthobu) in Mara Region. The women came from Kigaita and Kongoto villages where the culture is prevalent.
Participatory video is an advocacy tool that enables the communities to tell their stories the way they want to be heard, they are trained and given basic skills of using cameras, writing scripts and telling stories. But the videos and the content in the video is fully decided and made by the participants of the workshop themselves.
In the recent workshop the group of 8 women in Nyumba Ntobhu, identified the effects and risks that comes with practicing the culture, in their own telling most of them especially the young women who are married off to older women, it is usually a case of forced marriage, where families force girls to get married to older women so that they can acquire wealth.
“Nililazimishwa kuolewa kwenye Nyumba Ntobhu nikiwa na miaka 15 na kaka zangu ili wapate ng’ombe za kutolea mahari kwa ajili yao kuoa” Ghati Maswa Sogorya, one of the participants of the training explaining on how she was forced to get married by her brothers for them to acquire cows to their pay own dowry.
“Yule mama alivyokuja kunichumbia, nikakataa kuolewa nae. Wazazi wangu wakasema kama ukikataa kuolewa na huyu mama tutakupiga. Kwa hiyo ilinilazimu niolewe na yule mama ilikuepuka unyanyasaji.” Pendo Wambura, another participant explains on how her own parents promised domestic violence on her upon her refusal to Nyumba Ntobhu.
From research, this practice amounts to high risks of STDs, suffering to the wives who are forced to bring up their children alone as they lack basic need for themselves and the children and Loss of dignity.
Through the Participatory video training workshop, the women had an opportunity to film their stories on this practice, as it is not known to most people. Some of the women said that the outcomes of the training will help to deliver the information which will disseminate knowledge people and to the government where possible interventions will occur.
The Participatory Video exercise was conducted with the support of UNA Finland and Insight Share who provided technical support and also introduced the concept of Participatory Video to UNA Tanzania’s work in 2013.