Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, John Jingu said this during the weekend in Dar es Salaam that several measures have been taken by the government to ensure that women and girls are empowered to take part in senior leadership positions in various sectors.
He said this in a speech read on his behalf by the ministry’s principal social officer, Darius Damas during the dialogue on women peace and security organised collaboratively with the African Women’s Leadership Network (AWLN)-Tanzania chapter and the Mwalimu Nyerere Menorah Academy (MNMA) Jingu said Tanzania is a party to regional and international commitments on promoting gender equality and women empowerment and it has taken a number of measures and steps in addressing gender gaps in all spheres of development.
“The government recognizes that gender equality and women’s advancement is a matter of human rights and a necessary condition to social justice. Even the country’s constitution emphasises on equality and non-discrimination to all Tanzanian citizen, in that case no one is denied in the participation of employment, political and decision making,” he said.
He said that for many years the government has taken various programmes to promote participation of women in leadership and decision making which include training and mentoring programmes.
“In 2015, for the first time Tanzania had the first Vice President who is a woman as well as a deputy speaker, the number of women ministers and deputy ministers have also increased. Furthermore the government has set aside special parliamentary seats that account 30 percent. Currently the number of women members of parliament (MPs) has increased from 127 in 2015 to 143 in 202,” he elaborated.
The PS said that the government has also passed various laws to support women’s rights such as the Land Act No-4 of 1999 and the Village Land Act No 5 of 1999 so as to provide the right of acquiring, holding, using and owning land for both women and men.
He acknowledged that in recent years, women have proven that they are able to bring changes in organizations and other several sectors calling on more women to continue taking part in various programmes which promote their advancement.
He said that more concerted efforts are needed to support women to enable them get leadership positions while also supporting those in the positions to maintain them so as to realize their limitless potential.
He noted that women are the most faithful and ethical workforce, so investing in them by providing top leadership positions is good for the country’s development. Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, chairperson of the AWLN-Tanzania urged parents to raise their children to become ethical, patient and confident in their future. He said that by doing so, the nation will have more women leaders who are excellently delivered well in leadership positions.
“Since Mwl Nyerere’s era, he promoted education for all. He wanted to see both men and women having equal opportunity in education so as to enable them to be confident and strong,” she said. She urged for more awareness education on women and girls rights be conducted especially in rural areas.
She said the African Women Leaders Network works to mobilize women towards a continental movement that will elevate the status of women’s leadership in Africa. The AWLN was launched at the UN Headquarters in New York in June 2017, under the auspices of the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations (UN) through the Office of the AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security and UN Women.
Dr Rose Mbwete, principal at the Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial Academy- campus of Karume in Zanzibar said the college is well prepared to increase the number of enrolment of female students but also expand the number of women workers at the college. “We are here today to discuss and encourage young girls to be strong and be able to participate in making changes in their communities through taking part in different leadership positions,” she said.