83pc Tanzanians hail women’s rights advancement 

EIGHT out of ten Tanzanians believe their government is doing an excellent job in promoting equal rights and opportunities for women, according to a recent Afro barometer survey.

Based on the survey’s key findings, 83 per cent of Tanzanians commended their government’s efforts in improving women’s rights and opportunities.

However, they indicated that more efforts need to be made, particularly in the area of gender-based violence (GBV).

A perception survey released on Thursday by the leading economic research firm-Research on Poverty Alleviation Programme Limited ( REPOA) indicates that more women think the government should do more in promoting equal rights for women.

Presenting the findings in Dar es Salaam, REPOA Senior Researcher, Dr Jane Mpapalika said 87 per cent of men are more likely than 80 per cent of women to commend the government efforts on gender equality.

“In line with their positive rating of the government’s performance, three-quarters of the citizens think the government could do somewhat more or much more to promote equal rights and opportunities for women,” she said.

Dr Mpapalika further said the survey offers opportunities for other researchers to pick an area and do more research on it for further solutions and recommendations.

The survey, titled “Gender Equality and GBV in Tanzania” was divided into seven areas: education and control of assets, right to job and land, gender equality in political participation, government performance in promoting equal rights and opportunities, GBV in Tanzania and the response of GBV in Tanzania.

Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues in African countries.

On methodology, she said, respondents were randomly selected and the sample size was distributed across regions as well as rural and urban areas in proportion to their share in the national population.

“2,400 adults were interviewed and the fieldwork for round 9 in Tanzania was conducted in September 2022,” Dr Mpapalika said.

Commenting on the findings, Hubert Kairuki Memorial University Senior Paediatrician and Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health, Prof Esther Mwaikambo said Tanzania has made significant strides in gender equality and the survey is very representative.

She added: “Having lived here in Tanzania for eight decades, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of gender equality.

“In Tanzania, women are doing better today than in the past in terms of education, ownership of land, and leadership because it is impossible to wake up one day and have everything go as planned.”

Nuru Maro an Advocate of the High Court of Tanzania and a researcher commented on the survey saying that Tanzanians should use these studies as a tool to bring about change in communities.

“We have seen that GBV is still a major issue in our country and that there are many acts of violence against children. “The government should consider speeding up the process of obtaining the GBV Act in order to provide effective legal and policy protection against these acts”, she emphasised.

Further, Ms Maro stated that stakeholders should also focus on educating the public about gender issues and eliminating acts of violence.

The survey further indicates that most Tanzanians believe that the police are likely to take GBV seriously and that it should be treated as a criminal and not a private matter.

Dr Mpapalika said about two-thirds of Tanzanians (64 per cent) say domestic violence is a criminal matter that requires the involvement of law enforcement.

“Only a third (33 per cent) believe domestic violence should be seen as a private matter to be resolved within the family,” she said.

According to the survey results, despite the fact that GBV is the most important women’s rights issue that the government and society should address, the majority of Tanzanians believe that violence against women is not a common problem.

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