Picture: Dr. Pindi Chana of the Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA) talking with the press after the debate
Addressing gender inequality at both local and national levels will require the effective intervention of stakeholders in all sectors, it has been stressed. The call was made by Prof. Marjorie, a member of TGNP Mtandao, during the monthly Policy Forum 'Breakfast Debate' held on 26th August 2016 at British Council Auditorium.
Prof. Marjorie gave the example of a policy bias towards the promotion of largescale investments in agriculture, tourism, mining; set against the lack of any strong support for small-scale producers in many regions of the country. A large portion of the latter are women who depend on family economic activities to a greater extent than men, and who are especially vulnerable given the interaction of patriarchal and corporate globalization structures and systems.
Prof. Marjorie cited an analysis conducted by TGNP Mtandao on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Five Year Development Plan (2016/17-2020/21) which shows that FYDP II puts greater priority on economic growth, but is generally 'gender blind'. The study calls for women (as the most affected group), and also for like-minded male government leaders and politicians - regardless of party affiliation - to work together with advocacy civil society organizations and networks at all levels, including TGNP Mtandao and members of the Feminist Activist Coalition (FemAct). The objectives are to track progress, and to advocate implementation of (the SDGs and GEWE) desired strategies of FYDP II and budget.
Gender equality is a basic human right; a fundamental value for social justice, and not just a means for economic growth or prosperity, insisted Prof. Marjorie.
Dr. Pindi Chana, an Advocate at Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA) and a contributor to the debate, said that it is crucial that the existing avenues - such as planning process - are always used in addressing gender issues and all other related issues.
Dr. Rose Mwaipopo, Lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, the second speaker at the debate, urged actors to advocate for the FYDP II to adopt gender related indicators so that it can be tracked and measured.
Conclusively, Rennie Gondwe, a representative from the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children said that the government is creating initiatives to address gender issues in the country, in addition to 'The Women and Gender Development Policy (2000)' which is already in place.
For the powerpoint slides delivered at the debate, click here