Gender equality battle still raging on

GENDER equality (GE) is the condition where men and women have equal power and opportunity in terms of economic, financial, education and self –development.

A good example of GE in the workforce means being paid the same salary for equal work, regardless of gender. It also means that if a woman takes time off from work to take maternity leave, she will not be punished when she returns to work.

More importantly, GE is achieved when women, men, girls and boys have equal rights, conditions and opportunities and the power to shape their own lives and contribute to the development of society.

GE is the equitable distribution of life opportunities and resources between men and women in line with equal representation of men and women.

For a society to grow and enjoy life, it must overcome conflicts in a society opposed to the existence of genderbased violence. The importance of GE for development in society is to boost the economy, reduce infant mortality rate and raise women’s health and quality of life, increase access to education, family incomes and improve women’s living standards.

That is why Colleges and Institutes of Canada (CICan) through Empowerment through Skills (ESP) project convened a five days’ workshop of trainers attended by Folk Development Colleges(FDC), Community Based Organizations(CBOs), Community Development Office(CDOs) as well as Ministry of Education through the Department of Education and Vocational Training(DTVET).

Senior Technical Advisor (Gender) and CICan Representative-ESP-Tanzania Dr Alice Mumbi said the training was funded by the Government of Canada at a cost of over 43bn/-, through the project’s grants, the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (GAC), it will be provided to young men and women who are school dropouts (from poor families), women and men at the community level to regions across the country.

She said the Ministry of Education at the national level is in the provincial authority and for over 50 years, have been the national and international voice of public colleges and Institutions.

“We are a nongovernmental organization representing members from over 145 public colleges and institutions funded by the government of Canada,” she said.

She clarified that Canada is a leader globally in the provision of vocational education and vocation training (TVET) and has a comparative advantage in that area.

“Statistics show that over 995 percent of our graduates find employment within one year of graduation,” she said, adding that Canada’s colleges and institutes are known for their community-focused expertise in designing and providing demand-driven skills to employment programs, innovation and conducting research in collaboration with employers, businesses and industries.

She said there will also be training for 25 trainers in FDC parallel with the purchase of teaching and learning materials in the country within seven years through the ESP project.

She said a seven-year program (2021-2028) which is funded by the government of Canada is implemented by colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) in close collaboration with Tanzania’s Ministry of Education through the Department of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (DTVET).

She said ESP will strengthen alternative pathways to education, employment, self-employment and entrepreneurship for women and adolescent girls.

“Working with FDCs and CBOs in 12 communities across Tanzania, ESP aims to increase rates of participation among women and adolescent girls in skills training programs and improve access to business, skills and gender and human training in their communities,” she explained.

She said the program will also expand opportunities in the informal and formal sectors through post-training support to transition to employment or self-employment.

She said the program targets 12 partners, where a total of 480 women and adolescent girls will complete short gender sensitive skills training activities offered by the CBOs in the communities and a total of 36, (24 females), volunteers and staff from 12 CBOs will be trained on technical/or pedagogical skills and on delivering GE and human rights modules.

“A total of 2,400(1200 females) community members will participate in gender equality and human rights awareness activities”, she said.

She added that the program targets for the 12 partner FDCs including a total of 720 women and adolescent girls will graduate from gender responsive short programs developed under ESP. She said a total of 180(60f) staff will be trained on technical and or pedagogical skills and on delivering the GE and human rights modules.

“A total of 3,200 (1,000f) students will participate in gender equality and human rights awareness,” she said.

She said the implementation of the programme is very important in the country as it focuses on issues of gender equality, human rights, environment and economic growth for the development of every member of society.

Senior Trainer from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology from the Department of Vocational Education and Vocational Training, Ms Gloria Njau said the government will continue to improve learning and training to FDCs to enable young people who discontinued studies and others in the community to use them to acquire skills.

She said the government already in 2017 introduced Elimu Haina Mwisho program, through which more than 2,000 students in the country are registered in the programme through the FDC and equipped with skills for their well-being.

She said the government’s objective is to keep pace with the transformation of Science and Technology to enable the country to have skilled people so that they can become selfemployed and participate in entrepreneurial activities.

“This project has come to help us as a country to train our youth and provide them with capital,” she said.

Presenting a presentation on gender discrimination, the Head University of Dar es Salaam School of Education and Head of Counseling Unit Dr Bernadeta Rushahu said gender discrimination is caused by general attitude towards characteristics, behaviours, roles or differences about a particular gender.

“These are attitudes and behaviours that are associated with the existence of both men or women and discrimination can be negative or positive,” she said She said the origins of gender discrimination are cultures and traditions, questioned children in society, what kind of behavior they are learning from men and women from family or friends, media and institutions including schools and religious institutions.

She said because of the concept of gender equality in society, there have been a variety of characteristics mentioned about men.

“Gender discrimination is mistreating someone because of his/her gender,” she said.

Community Development Officer from Nsimbo district Council said one of the gender stereotypes in society is a woman not being given priority to own property, especially land.

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