ACCEPTANCE to wicked social conducts has been described as elements that fuel violence against women and children in both Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar, the Social Indicators and Gender Index (SIGI) study shows.
Launching the report here, the Minister for Community Development, Elders, Gender and Children Ms Riziki Pemba Juma appealed to Tanzanians to change behavior because the practices have serious consequences for women and girls’ health.
She said the behaviors also have negative impact on socio-economic status, notably through higher adolescent pregnancy rates and educational attainment.
“Our governments under President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Hussein Ali Mwinyi have been doing a lot in making us change and protect women and girls; we should support them by behaviors change,” Ms Riziki said.
The report developed by the OECD with support from UN woman Tanzania and the government of Ireland reveals the progress Tanzania has made on gender equality, and sheds light on several factors that continue to limit women’s economic opportunities.
The report, based on new data collected by the Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the office of the Chief Government Statistician (OCGS) – Zanzibar reveals that Tanzanian women undertake three times more unpaid care and domestic work- such as cooking, cleaning, washing, fetching water and a double burden of paid and unpaid work on women’s shoulders.
“This is often forces them to choose flexible jobs in order to balance paid work with household duties, confining them to vulnerable and informal employment,” it says.
The SIGI country report for Tanzania also highlights that women are highly exposed to violence, with 48 percent having survived intimate-partner violence at least once in their lives and 23 per cent in the past year.
The report reveals that to large extent, this is due to social acceptance- 50 percent of Tanzanian men and women believe that a man is justified in hitting or beating his wife under certain circumstances such as if she burns the food, goes out without telling him (husband), neglect children or argues with him.
The practice of female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C) has been gradually eliminated but remains a serious cause for concern in certain regions of the country- primarily in the northern part of Tanzania, with estimates showing that overall more than two million Tanzania women to day experienced some form of FGM/C over the course of their life.
The SIGI country report for Tanzania proposes high-level and log-term actions to guide Tanzania’s policy design, these include: update laws and eliminate legal provisions that discriminate against women and girls, notably regarding access to agricultural land, inheritance, girl child marriage, violence against women and female genital mutilation.
It also proposes to integrate a gender perspective across all government Ministries and sectors, including in the budget, and to guide and coordinate these efforts, the report calls for the establishment of a national technical advisory group on gender with a clear mandate to provide support to line ministries and government bodies on women rights, capacity development, research, and policy advice.
Maintain and expand Tanzania’s current commitment and investment in sex-disaggregated data collections to identify gender gaps and gains a better understanding of how social norms evolve.
Ms Hodan Addou, UN Women Representative said at the launch that “UN Women remains committed to continuing our strong partnership with OCGS, NBS, and the government to ensure that gender data is generated, made accessible, promoted and used to inform the critical policies and decision-making required to better the lives of women and girls in Zanzibar, and all over Tanzania.”