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Gender and Social Justice in Tanzania


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This PowerPoint presentation examines gender and social justice issues in Tanzania with proposed ways to address them, including issues of:

- Gender and Development

- Family Life and Structure

- Women in Tanzanian Society

- Maternal Health, including Obstetric Fistula

- Healthcare in Tanzania

- Violence against Women and Children

- Environmental Impact on Women, including Water Access and Soil Degradation

- Women as Decision-Makers

- Women and Albinism

Published in: Health & Medicine

Gender and Social Justice in Tanzania

  1. 1. ♀ Located in East Africa, the United Republic of Tanzania was formed in 1964 by the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, both recently liberated from British colonial rule.♀ With a population of nearly 43 million people, it is one of the world’s 48 Least Developed Countries.♀ Tanzania is ranked 152 out of 187 on UNDP’s 2011 Human Development Index.
  2. 2. Tanzania’s National Strategy for Gender & Development identified key challenges relating to gender equality in Tanzania: ♀ Patriarchal system; customs & traditions that discriminate against women and perpetuate gender inequalities ♀ Inadequacies of the legal and institutional framework ♀ Lack of capacity for implementing programs towards gender equality & women’s empowerment ♀ Persistent and increasing burden of poverty on women ♀ Inequalities in arrangements for productive activities and in access to resources (continued)
  3. 3. ♀ Inequalities in the sharing of power and decision‐making♀ Inequality in access to education, especially secondary and tertiary education♀ Lack of respect for and inadequate promotion and protection of the human rights of women♀ Inequalities in managing natural resources and safeguarding the environment
  4. 4. “At the family level, boys (have been) socialized at the father’s fireplace school and girls by mothers in the kitchen school. While boys were trained to be ‘men’ [outside looking, open minded, and making decisions], girls were trained for their role of housewife and mother.”The dominant family structure in Tanzania had been the extended family, but it is now shifting to nuclear as more people migrate to cities away from their extended families. Polygamy exists among some tribal cultures and Muslims, but it is decreasing due to the influence of Christianity, the education of women, and limited money to support multiple households.
  5. 5. The following video link of an interview with Tanzanian women offers a picture of the treatment of women in their society –
  6. 6. ♀ As is the case with all of the gender-related issues highlighted in this presentation, education, good governance, and money (program funding, responsible economic empowerment) are key to making changes.♀ For a society in which gender inequality is accepted as part of deeply ingrained cultural beliefs and traditions, it is critical to have respected opinion shapers voice educational messages.
  7. 7. “Giving birth holds deadly risks for mothers in Tanzania, where on average one woman and six infants die each hour from preventable, birth-related complications.” - PBS NewsHour The following video clip offers a glimpse of maternal health in Tanzania:
  8. 8. “Many women who die in childbirth (in Tanzania) are young and healthy, and most maternal deaths are preventable with basic obstetrical care.” – New York Times♀ Maternal mortality is 790 per 100,000 live births (WHO 2011).♀ According to slightly different data (with a lower MMR) used by the medical journal, Lancet, in a 2010 report, Tanzania’s MMR translated to a global rank of 148 out of 181.♀ Main causes of maternal mortality in Tanzania are: Hemorrhaging, Infection, High blood pressure, Prolonged labor, and Abortion-related complications
  9. 9. ♀ Death is not the only all-too-common result of pregnancy and childbirth for women in Tanzania. One debilitating and long-term result can be obstetric fistula (OF).♀ OF is a painful and marginalizing health condition resulting from complications during childbirth.♀ Women with OF often live in shame, isolated and shunned by their community, friends, and even family.♀ It can result from prolonged labor, female genital mutilation, giving birth too young – before a pelvis has time to fully develop, insufficient ante-natal care, and the “3 delays” described later.
  10. 10. Tanzania’s overall health statistics are greatly troublesome.♀ Tanzania is ranked 192 out of 192 countries for physician density, with a mere 0.008 physicians per 1,000 people.♀ It is ranked 140 out of 183 for hospital bed density, with 1.1 hospital beds per 1,000 people.♀ Just over 5% of its GDP is spent on healthcare.♀ With an overall low life expectancy of 52.85 years, its maternal and infant mortality rates are high: 790 per 100,000 live births and 66.93 per 1,000 live births. 
  11. 11. The 3 delays:Maternal mortality occurs most often due to what is termed the 3 delays, which are: ♀ Delay in seeking healthcare ♀ Delay in reaching a healthcare facility ♀ Delay in getting medical attentionOther cohort members have reported identical or similar causes of maternal mortality in their project countries, including Nepal, Pakistan, India, Angola, Ghana, and Latin America/Caribbean, such as: Hemorrhage, Sepsis/Infection, Hypertensive Disorders, Complications from Abortion, and Obstructed Labor
  12. 12. These similar causes have their roots in lack of access to adequate medical care, which must be addressed in paving a way forward, including: ♀ Lack of knowledge about, and the cultural acceptance of, what adequate medical care during pregnancy and childbirth means ♀ Lack of adequately trained health professionals ♀ Lack of nearby medical centers equipped to deal with childbirth complications, or lack of reasonable access to transportation to reach such centers ♀ Early childhood marriage, female genital mutilation, and other traditional practices that cause childbirth complications ♀ Lack of adequate ante-natal care
  13. 13. “(In Tanzania), there is no law against domestic violence, specifically.” – USAIDThe major forms of GBV in Tanzania are: ♀ Domestic and intimate partner violence ♀ Sexual violence ♀ Female genital mutilation ♀ Trafficking
  14. 14. ♀ The major form of violence practiced against women in Tanzania is domestic and intimate partner violence.♀ According to a study by Tanzanian NGO, Kivulini, Tanzania is “among the 50 countries in the world with (a) high percentage of domestic violence against women.”♀ Domestic violence statistics in Tanzania demonstrate highly localized areas of intense, rampant violence against women. This same study reported that “82 per cent of women in the Lake zone and Singida Region are subjected to domestic violence.”
  15. 15. ♀ "Domestic violence is ♀ "I was beaten by a man with rampant for various whom I was living and had a reasons, including child with…He used a stick patriarchal and cultural to beat me and broke my beliefs as well as practices kneecap. I had to undergo that degrade women. A an operation to insert a plate man can do anything in my knee. I have never against a woman simply recovered because the because he had paid injured left leg is now dowry." shorter. The man was never - Ananilea Nkya, executive director of taken to court.” Tanzania Media Womens Association - Halima Mikidadi, Dar es Salaam
  16. 16. “According to Tanzania health statistics, FGM affects 18 per cent of the country’s female population. Despite the fact that the government criminalized FGM in 1998, this traditional cultural practice still exists.” - UNESCO The Maternal and Neonatal Program Effort Index reports that female genital mutilation contributes to childbirth complications, including bleeding, tearing, and infection.
  17. 17. ♀ The major forms of violence against children in Tanzania are: – Child labor – Early child marriage – Child trafficking The following video clip offers one experience of child marriage, from the child herself:
  18. 18. ♀ Adequate laws to protect women and children from violence must be put in place and enforced.♀ Education on the unacceptability of gender-based violence is key: with messages tailored to audiences of men, women, and children.♀ Opinion shapers have a duty to speak out against GBV, rather than ignore it or claim it is acceptable and something to be endured.This video clip demonstrates the positive effect educational campaigns focused on men can have:
  19. 19. The key environmental challenges Tanzania currently faces include: ♀ Access to potable water ♀ Soil degradation ♀ Deforestation ♀ Desertification ♀ Recent droughts affecting marginal agriculture
  20. 20. ♀ There are significant impacts on both women and children with regard to water.♀ Limited access requires people (in Tanzania, the role primarily belongs to women and girls) to walk long distances to fetch safe water, which results in gender- based violence and lack of schooling for girls.♀ According to the paper, Diverting the Flow: A Resource Guide to Gender, Rights and Water Privatization, “Every day, many women and girls walk or travel long distances to bring water to their families, often at the expense of education, income generating activities, cultural and political involvement, and rest and recreation.”
  21. 21. The following music video gives you a sense of the watergiver’s burden:
  22. 22. ♀ Land degradation leaves soil in such poor condition it is either difficult or impossible to use for agricultural cultivation, which leads to a greater workload and level of input in order to try to coax some yield from the land to put food on the table.♀ According to the UN, “This added burden usually falls disproportionately on women (except for land clearing work), because they are predominantly involved in food crop cultivation and activities connected with livestock.”
  23. 23. Ideas to improve soil and water conservation: ♀ Work with communities to build and maintain community water sources ♀ Educate communities on farming techniques to improve soil quality ♀ Harvest rain water ♀ Promote environmentally sustainable practices at all levels: individual, private/corporate, public It is also critical to ensure the safety of women and girls as they travel to obtain water.
  24. 24. ♀ A Woman’s VOICE can be a powerful tool in society – whether in family life, community affairs, the political arena, journalism, academia, or the arts.♀ Although there are some example of this in Tanzania, there is a long way to go in providing a safe space and opportunities for women to voice their concerns and ideas.
  25. 25. ♀ Tanzania ranks 15 out of 187 countries in terms of women seated in the lower and upper houses of national parliaments.♀ Most of this is due to the provision of “special seat” quotas, established when the country moved from a single-party to multi-party system in 1992.♀ Other categories of special seats were also established at this time, including those for youth, the army, and workers.
  26. 26. ♀ According to the paper, The Politics of Quotas in Tanzania: “The idea of special seats was to ensure that the voices of special categories of citizens were heard in parliament. The thrust was not to bring about balance, but to incorporate these voices, which otherwise would have been at a disadvantage in the ‘normal’ electoral process.”♀ We can see from the table in the next slide - when comparing “women’s seats” and “total women” - that few women are actually popularly elected to these positions.♀ While quotas can be a step in the right direction if utilized properly, along with other measures to promote gender equity, they cannot necessarily be relied on as a true measure of female voice.
  27. 27. Constituencie Women sYear s seats Total women Total Seats % total seats 2005 17 75 92 307 29.97 2000 12 48 60 279 21.51 1995 8 37 45 269 16.73 1990 2 19 21 242 8.68 2005 17 75 92 307 29.97 2000 12 48 60 279 21.51 1995 8 37 45 269 16.73
  28. 28. In speaking about women being elected to political office in Tanzania as opposed to receiving appointment due to special seat quotas, the organization Research and Education for Democracy in Tanzania (REDET) articulated a number of barriers:“There are a multitude of reasons which account for women’s low participation in electoral politics (in Tanzania)… In a nutshell, some of the reasons include: low positioning of women in the society due to social cultural norms and values, lack of economic power, legal and regulatory environment, lack of political support by existing political parties, which in turn impact their ability to access electoral resources, such as media, the type of electoral regime, which translates in lack of political will to transform the politics of exclusion.”
  29. 29. ♀ Women should be, can be, and are influential in all walks of life.♀ Music is the most popular form of expression and communication in Tanzania. As such, female musicians can play a role in giving Tanzanian women a voice in society, as strides are slowly made in other areas of culture and society.
  30. 30. One example of the positive and influential role a woman’s voice can play in Tanzania is Nakaaya, a popular musician, who sings about social issues. Listen to Nakaaya’s VOICE here:
  31. 31. ♀ It is clear that, at the base, gender equity must take root at the basic levels of life in order for true change to occur.♀ While political quotas can be helpful, a woman’s voice must be promoted in all walks of life.
  32. 32. ♀ According to one Tanzanian participant in a UN-sponsored online discussion on women in leadership roles: I believe Tanzania is among the leading African countries in promoting gender equality and giving women leadership opportunities... However, improved policy making and gender sensitization cannot easily be measured by having a woman leader in a ministry, agency or department, and if this is the case, I do not think it is sustainable. I think gender sensitivity is a culture that we are breeding, and although in a disoriented manner, it is slowly being reflected. We still need to do a lot in different socio-cultural, economic, political, public and private institutions to nurture positive gender sensitivity.
  33. 33. According to the UN document, Women and Decision- Making, some strategy areas that have been identified for increasing the representation of women in politics include: ♀ Setting targets ♀ Affirmative action (which would include quotas) ♀ Review of electoral systems ♀ Public awareness campaign ♀ Encouraging women to join politics ♀ Support for women candidates ♀ Support for women parliamentarians ♀ Support for women in democratization, peace and conflict resolution
  34. 34. Capstone Topic – Preventing Stigma and Violence Toward People with Albinism in TanzaniaGender Dimensions:♀ When Tanzanian women without albinism give birth to children with albinism, they are often accused of sleeping with a white man.♀ The birth of a child with albinism is sometimes viewed as a curse due to something a woman did wrong during her pregnancy.♀ A new belief has arisen – sleeping with a woman with albinism is a cure for AIDS. Tanzanian women with albinism are now being raped as a result.
  35. 35. ♀ Tanzania is a beautiful country with beautiful people, but the dangers women and children face are particularly troublesome problems.♀ Deeply-rooted traditions, culture, poverty, lack of access to education and basic health services all contribute to the perpetuation of these problems.♀ Progress is being made, but it is slow, and women and children are suffering and dying in too great numbers.♀ Hopefully this presentation has offered some insight into the problems and some ideas for a way forward.