Introducing the Time Travel Method in Tanzania to fight Gender-Based Violence and Female Genital Mutilation

The Time Travel Method is currently being implemented in Tanzania trough a collaborative project together with Kalmar County Museum, Sweden, and Church of Sweden. Kalmar County Museum is conducting trainings for Church of Sweden’s two partner organisations Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) and Christian Council in Tanzania (CCT). The goal is to find new innovative methods in the fight against gender-based violence and female genital mutilation (FGM) in Tanzania.

“We see cultural heritage and faith as resources in the fight against gender-based violence in Tanzania. By raising contemporary issues with a cultural heritage perspective, you allow everyone in a local community to get their voices heard which can contribute to change; especially women and children who generally have very little space in decision-making processes,” says Johanna Ejderstedt, international coordinator at Kalmar County Museum.

In a country like Tanzania, faith is widespread and a very important part of life. Religious leaders have great influence in the local communities and are therefore seen as change-makers when it comes to promoting gender justice and gender equality in the country.

The method is currently being implemented in the two faith-based organisations Gender Justice Program targeting FGM and early marriage in Tanzania in particular. The method is used to uphold good culture and to leave culture that are harmful such as FGM. The community feel a sense of ownership since it uses their historical sites and heritage, it enables discussions, reflections and together they must agree on an action plan on how they wish to live in the future. The method is attitude-changing and can lead to behaviour changes for individuals and in the community as a whole.

The trainees from the two faith-based organisations look at the method in positive ways; the importance of historical and cultural aspects when addressing gender challenges in the community, and that it creates a safe space for the community members to discuss and give solutions to the challenges in their community. The Time travel Method is an interactive method that can build cohesion at family, community and national level. The Time Travel Method can help support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

“The method is bringing all people together where children, elders and traditional leaders all discuss relevant issues.”, said participant Emanuel Baru in Mara.

“This is a touching method, involving many people doing activities, using historical facts and opening up to discuss their challenges“, trainee Wilson Time Travel Method champion from Singida.

Pendaeli Kuyan, local coordinator Time Travel Project in Tanzania