Women Economic Empowerment

Reducing poverty and inequality is a cornerstone of development policy of any nation. In Mainland Tanzania, poverty has declined by approximately one percentage point each year between 2007 and 2012, according to a new World Bank report released today Based on the 2012 Household Budget Survey, the Tanzania Mainland Poverty Assessment highlights the country’s first significant decline in poverty in 20 years.

Basic needs poverty, which refers to the minimum resources needed for physical wellbeing, declined from 34.4% in 2006, to 28.2% by 2012. During the same time period, extreme poverty also decreased from 11.7% to 9.7% about 60 percent of women in Tanzania live in absolute poverty.

This is a result of the increasing poverty among the rural and urban population generally, the growing gap between the rich and poor; women and men; and among women themselves.

In the rural sector and the poor urban suburbs, women carry a heavier burden because by tradition, women lack property rights and they also lack adequate knowledge on existing credit facilities.

Due to their low education level, their knowledge and skills on how to manage their work is generally low. Most of women also depend on poor technology, which consume their time and energy.

The Government has used several strategies to improve the economic empowerment of women. The first strategy was to make access and equitable control of means of production possible for women. The Government therefore revised the National Land Policy of 1995 and enacted the Land Law Act of 1999 as well as the Village Act of 1999. This has enabled women to own clan and family land on equal rights with men.

The Government working with NGOs and international donor agencies have made a step to educating men and women on the importance of women owning land and other means of production. The role of women and their contributions at the family and community levels in the development process have been emphasized. The other constraint still to be addressed is educating the society about these changes and how women can benefit from these changes.

Despite the government efforts to help reduce poverty among women, the state of poverty among women calls for concerted efforts to advocate for bridging a gap between policy and practice. This calls for CSOs like PRO to continue advocating for women’s economic rights and at the same time continue empowering them through entrepreneurship and business development initiatives among women in Tanzania.

The consequences of abuse are profound, extending beyond the health and happiness of individuals to affect the well-being of entire communities.  GBV violence drains the strength and development of micro and macroeconomic systems.  The negative consequences of GBV reach into the development agenda as domestic violence impedes the efficiency and effectiveness of all development efforts.  in exercising their rights, their opportunity to access to resources for economic development and to receive fair distribution of the benefit of development.