Written by Robert Zephania | Posted on  11 Mar 2016.

Tanzania is among countries that are striving to advocate for and promote rights of women in different aspects. Although Tanzania has ratified the main international and regional women’s rights protection instruments, many of their provisions continue to be violated in both law and practice. Areas of particular concerns are such as the persistence of discriminatory laws; violence against women; unequal access to education, employment and health services; and violations of the right to property.

The international instrument on women’s rights is the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, devised 1979. This convention requires governments to ensure that women are not discriminated against in any sphere of life, whether public or private.

The prohibition against discrimination on the basis of gender is contained in a number of other international and regional instruments to which Tanzania is a signatory, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 1981 and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, 2000.

In 2008, SADC also adopted the Gender and Development Protocol. The Constitution, 1977 explicitly prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender. Some of this discrimination stems from cultural practices and societal attitudes that are gender-biased, while some discrimination is as a result of laws that are discriminatory either in them or in their effect.

This is a problem that needs addressing by the government giving more attention to challenges facing women in Tanzania. There is a saying that goes, “educating a woman is educating the whole society.” We should make sense out of this by empowering women in all aspects for a better Tanzania.