Equality for Growth (EfG) is a rights-based NGO seeking to empower Tanzania’s informal sector women. EfG began in 2008, since then it has sought for voice, visibility and rights of women who operate in Tanzania’s informal economy. EfG was established and registered in Tanzania as of 6th August 2008 with registration No. 66935 and later in 2011, the organization acquired a certificate of NGO Compliance No. 00001544. The targeted beneficiaries of EfG’s work are self-employed women workers, in both the formal and informal sectors.
Equality for Growth seeks to empower Tanzania’s informal sector women to increase their income and reduce household poverty through access to legal and human rights education, business opportunities, capacity building and active engagement in policy and practice reforms.
Safe public spaces for women
Multiple forms of Gender-based Violence (GBV) are prevalent, institutionalized, and normalized within informal marketplaces, impacting traders’ health, safety, security and economic well-being. EfG Baseline Surveys conducted in three regions of Dar es Salaam, Shinyanga and Dodoma on GBV at market places in 2015 and 2019 revealed the following:
- Dar es Salaam shows 96.77% of women experience violence at their workplace.
- Shinyanga report shows that economic violence (34%) followed by Psychological/Verbal (31%), Physical (28%), Sexual (4%) and other violence (3%).
- Dodoma report shows that (32%) Sexual assault, followed by Verbal Abuse (31%), Economic (21 %) Physical (8%), Psychological (6%) and other violence (2%).
The program was successful in the following:
1. Enhancing market traders’ awareness and knowledge on GBV and its impact on women
EfG has been organizing and conducting anti-GBV campaigns to increase understanding of GBV enhance knowledge, and change attitude and behavior regarding GBV. Also, engagement with media has been a key in creating and increasing public awareness on GBV and anti-GBV initiatives as well as advocating for legal and policy reforms. So far, EfG has:
- Reached 20,000 + market traders, increasing awareness of GBV and women’s rights;
- Seen a decrease of GBV incidences in markets by 81%;
- 22 markets have adopted and are using the guideline for ending GBV.
- Influencing markets to adopt a model anti-GBV guidelines for handling and combating GBV at market places
The model guidelines were developed by EfG and introduced to market traders and District/Municipal authorities as a tool to help prevent and combat GBV at market places.
Markets Committees, Municipal officials were consulted to adopt the GBV Guideline, which is tailored to the needs and environment of market traders. The guidelines provide step by step instructive information on how to handle, monitor, and address GBV incidences at marketplaces. The guidelines also highlight both GBV preventive and responsive measures, intending to promote a common practice towards addressing GBV in markets. A total of 22 markets have adopted and are actively using the guidelines so far. The guidelines have enabled the assistance of over 1,500 GBV survivors each year.
- Enhancing collaboration between law enforcers, Market Committees and Municipal officials to effectively address GBV happening in the markets
EfG has been working towards ensuring greater coordination among key actors in addressing GBV at market places and strengthening the capacity of stakeholders to respond to GBV. We have been building the capacity of these actors to effectively handle GBV cases and ensure comprehensive and coordinated efforts in preventing and combating GBV. Increased capacity among service providers has seen improved coordination in handling GBV incidents occurring at marketplaces.
- Documenting and sharing EfG’s model approach
EfG’s model approach was documented and shared with local government authorities (Municipal and District Councils), different ministries include the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children. Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Industry and Trade, and PO-RALG (TAMISEMI), civil society organizations, and the media, for scale-up and replication. The aim was to build a better understanding of how informal sector women can be assisted to overcome GBV at the market level. We have developed a curriculum centered on training and capacity building that successfully raises awareness of women’s rights and provides women with legal support. Currently, EfG is scaling up the ‘Sauti ya Mwanamke’ model to 2 regions of Shinyanga and Mbeya.
Access to justice
We work towards the advancement of legal knowledge for those marginalized and engaged in business and trade. Legal empowerment promotes adherence and respect to the rule of law and encourage safeguard of their basic rights. Paralegal and Legal community supporters (LCS) are a role model in our cities in addressing prevailing inequalities.
When we first began to look at the situation of women in the informal sector we discovered that an alarmingly large number of women were unaware of their rights, laws and policies. We found that most women did not even know where to report abuses or violations they suffer or where to access legal services. For the few who appeared to know where to access such services, proximity of the services and associated financial costs were found to be major obstacles hindering access.
EfG has responded to this situation with the following:
- Developing a legal rights and economic empowerment manual
In 2013 EfG developed the first informal sector resource manual tool on taxation, licensing, and legal and economic rights. The manual aims to enhance legal education and improve business knowledge amongst market traders.
- Introducing mobile legal aid clinics to cater to informal markets
In improving women’s access to justice, EfG introduced mobile legal aid clinics to cater to market traders at market places. The clinics have enabled market traders to gain easier access to legal services, provided at the market level. There are legal officers in place who have been providing legal aid services at markets on a rotational and weekly basis. Over 7,168 market traders have benefited from free legal aid services provided through mobile legal aid clinics.
- Recruitment of paralegals for legal empowerment
EfG has successfully recruited and trained paralegals and legal community supporters (LCS) who now conduct awareness-raising sessions and provide legal aid to market traders. A total of 108 paralegals and LCS were empowered and are active throughout 4 regions of Tanzania mainland, namely Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Mbeya and Lushoto Tanga. The trained paralegals and LCS will continue to provide legal aid within their respective communities upon completion of the project. This has positive implications on the sustainability of the project. Currently, LCS and paralegals provide legal advice to approximately 4,000 market traders.
- Support growth of paralegals groups
EfG is working to support the formalization of paralegal work by assisting with the registration process and finding paralegals opportunities to network with other service providers, with the aim of building relationships and working together, which will also help in achieving sustainability. So far three (3) paralegal centres in the Districts of Ilala in Dar es Salaam, and Bumbuli and Lushoto in Tanga have been established and registered.