THE Tanzania Education Network (TenMet) has called for the advancement of equal rights for women and girls.
This includes ensuring that women and girls have access to quality education, gender balance in teachers’ deployment, eliminating all forms of gender-based violence and harmful cultural practices, promoting women’s and girls’ economic empowerment, bridging digital gap and increasing women’s and girls’ representation in leadership positions.
The call was made in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday by the National Coordinator of TenMet, Mr Ochola Wayoga, during the commemoration of International Women’s Day.
“TenMet has been at the forefront in advocating for gender equality and promoting women’s rights through various interventions. Ensuring that women and girls have equal access to education and opportunities,” Mr Wayoga said.
“There is a need to bridge gender by promoting equal access to technology, digital training and by having zero tolerance to things that undermine women and girls because this is imperative if gender equality is to be realised,” he added.
He noted that with the existing inequalities in access to technology and the internet, girls and women are not able to equally participate in digital societies.
“Holding back girls and women in this area affects every aspect of their lives, including their ability to speak out and advance issues that affect their growth, democracy and participation,” he said.
Mr Wayoga said the road ahead is uphill, and according to UN Women, today over 90 per cent of jobs worldwide already have a digital component and most jobs will soon require sophisticated digital skills.
“If states equip girls with digital skills by prioritising teaching and learning, they will help girls and women thrive in economies, where routine work has been automated and digital skills are prized,” he said.
He said despite the progress made over the years in attaining SDG 5, women and girls still face numerous challenges that hinder their progress and limit their potential.
“From lack of access to education, to unequal pay and discrimination in the workplace, gender-based violence and harmful cultural practices, women and girls continue to be excessively affected,” he noted.
He said governments, civil society organisations, development partners, community members, individuals and wider education stakeholders have to take bold steps towards advancing the rights of women and girls.
“TenMet remains steadfast in ensuring that every woman and girl has access to quality education and opportunities for a better life. We urge everyone to join us in this journey towards attaining gender equality in Tanzania and achieving SDG 5 by 2030,” Mr Wayoga said.