UNION Vice President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, on Wednesday said that despite incorporating gender equality in the constitution, violence against women has been a grave reality in the lives of many women in the country who are estimated to be 51 per cent of the total population.
In her speech at the opening of the 9th Tanzania Women Judges Association (TAWJA) Biennial Conference held at the Hotel Verde, north of Stone Town, Ms Samia said the scenario has been orchestrated by gender norms, social and economic inequalities and stereotyping that gives privilege to men over women.
He told the women judges, “As a woman who has raised to the ranks of power and hold the second highest political office in the country, it is my endeavour to see more is done in ensuring access to justice and freedom from discrimination and violence is attained by all.”
“It is disheartening to see or hear that sextortion still exists in the 21st century and has continued to be a stinging bug that makes many women shy away from boardroom positions; political offices and the industrialisation bandwagon. Their hopes, ambitions and dreams have been thwarted by a few malicious individuals,” Ms Hassan said.
She said the government through its vision 2025 among other things is committed to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women in all aspects, as she urged the legislature, the executive, the judicial, and various organisations to play a vital role in developing political will to make significant changes.
The Vice President said that in order to sustain tremendous economic growth being experienced, it is imperative to ensure that more corrective measures are incorporated in our national development goals to ensure full participation of all community members regardless of their gender or age.
Ms Samia said when the government talks about having an industrialised economy, it means talking about modernising its agricultural sector, making headways in science and technology through innovations and inventions, having the presence of highly skilled labour force and favourable and conducive business environment.