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Ending gender-based violence

I was born in 27th January 1988 under the Muslim family parents. I was named Fatma Hassan Massanja, it was the family of four children and I was born third. But for the mercy of almighty god I got revelation to the word of god in Christ, and then converted in Christian religion through the valuable message preached by prophet William Marion Branham. I am a believer worshiping in the “end time message tabernacle” here in dare s salaam Tanzania.

In the married life of my parents my father had never include my mother in his activities, my mother was just a house wife knowing nothing about her husband’s properties. The only thing she knew was to cook and take care of the family. And that is the ral life of many Africans.

In 1997 when I was in standard two my parents fell divorced, such thing lead us to remain with single parent and that was mom. So we had to stay to grand fathers house, in 1999 February my father died with HIV/AIDS. Life become too hard to live. Because my mother depended only on selling cooked food (mama lishe) business. In 2001 mother passed away as well. There it cost us to go to our separate ways.

Somebody took me for the promise of paying my school expenses, but when I was in form two he stopped what he promised. Nobody was there to support me fro my school expenses. I cried for help buy there where no helping hand.

Because I love education I decided to have a boy friend who does help me to survive with my school. I thank when I nearly to complete my o’level education my school cometee’s eyes were opened and see my suffering. I finished and got division iii point 25. I paid for computer course.

From there I used to work as a secretary in different places and also as a tuitor sometimes because I love children. In 2007 I met one of my fathers old friend he told me that my father had a large farms at Morogoro, had boat for fishing at kigoma and also had a large plot here in Dar es salaam. So how could I get them back while I had no any document for proof? In 2008 I met my husband whom we have two daughters till now. Nancy (7years) and Faith (1year).

My vision
It is time for change now. Men should not neglect their wives in the daily life planning, look for the suffering I went through all this is because my mom had never had a chance to know how wealth her husband is. If she could know my I could tell a different story about my life now.

If African will help children without thinking of gender issues I could do well in my education, because the wife of the one who was paid for my education earlier always told me and even her husband that “girls are for marriage and not education”

Poor understanding capacity results to low reasoning power, poor parents sometimes used to it easy when facing some obstacles in developing their children in education, thinking that even if a child lack education thing will settle it self on the future. This is so wrong

Due to what I went through my advice is to provide more education about gender equality in Africa so that we may reduce the number of street children and prostitute.

My vision too is to have a school where women will be employed especially widow and single parents so that their children won’t suffer as much as I did.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Ending Violence Against Women Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring an end to gender-based violence. The EVAW Campaign elicits powerful content from women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as vocal grassroots leaders, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
Learn more »



Huma's picture

You are right

Hello Fatma

You are absolutely right. The union of man and woman needs to be that of equality. Equal in all rights. A man marries a partner in life, not a maid. She is not there only to cook food and clean the house. There needs to be trust between the two.

Keep educating young women around you, you're doing a great service.
Thank you!

innocency massanja's picture


hello huma
thanks for your comment. i am doing that dear.
thank you so much

irmia's picture

When (formal) education is not enough

I also believe that (formal) education plays significant role to change a person life. However, the victim of violence I've met sometimes have high level of education (could have a PhD or master degree) and those kind of people are harder to approach.

To your opinion, how can it happen? They know the issue, but it seems hard for them to admit that they have problem.


innocency massanja's picture

education and changes

hi mia

yeah, the truth is although people expect so many positive changes from an educated person but the main problem is their originality from their ancestors and also their way of seeing things.

my father was really educated and employed at Red Cross and my mother was only a standard seven(primary education). and still the main cause of problem was father.

so, because in everything there is positive and negative impact, what we have to do is to tell and teach Africans how the family should live in aspect of properties. and i know some days to come they will get their eyes opened and things will be better.

fatma (innocency)

irina_costa's picture

Education for equality

Hi Fatma,

I was reading your piece and I was thinking that women shouldn't have to go to all this trouble just to be in school. We know school helps - it helps people get better paid jobs, more stable jobs and less dangerous ones. It also helps people mature - understand teh world around them a bit more..and if now that you're educated nothing similar to what happened to you could happen to your children. I totally believe in education - but how would this school that you mention at the end of your post work?
Will it be a school for adult women? or would it be a school scheme where widows or single mothers would work so their children could be kept in school? I like both ideas but I was just curious what you ment


Irina Costache

innocency massanja's picture


hello irina

dear what i meant is that 90% of employee will be widow and single mothers, the school will be for orphans, street children and poor people.
i hope we understand each other now


cece's picture

Thank You!

You are fantastic! This is so true that women need to be involved in the awareness of family planning and not just taking care of the home. You will be a blessing to however many women you can help understand this. Keep sharing your story.

We are blessed to have many Sisters!


innocency massanja's picture


dear cece

thank you for the support u give me. i am so blessed to hear that women have being inspired through my real life story.

thank you dear sister


Stella Paul's picture

So glad!

Dear Innocency

So glad to see that you finally managed to publish your post. Congrats! Sorry I am reading this late because I was on World Pulse Live Tour for nearly a month. But we will continue to be in touch. Also, I am glad to see that you have made many friends and sisters here who are giving you support. I hope you will also find a way to fulfill your dream. All the best and love

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

innocency massanja's picture

thank you

my dear friend

i hope things went well out there on world pulse live tour. i real appreciate your support.
i believe when the right time comes god will fulfill my wish.


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