Friday, October 10, 2014


2014 Tanzania Gender Barometer Stakeholders and workshop participants
Tanzania Gender Networking Program (TGNP Mtandao) in partnership with the SADC Gender Protocol Alliance conducted a three days workshop which lasted from 1st to 3rd October 2014 at Holiday Inn Hotel located at city centre Dar es Salaam. The workshop was convened by Ms Mary Nsemwa, workshop facilitator and a welcome remark to all participants was extended by Ms Lilian Liundi TGNP Acting Executive Director.
About twenty two stakeholders from different public and private institutions participated in the three days workshop to reflect on the regional and national key gender issues achievements for the one year period and input into the SGP post 2015 Plan also to verify the draft of 2014 Barometer and engaging ministries representatives to input, and support in meeting the targets and mapping way forward towards the 2015 goals.
Led by Lucia Makamure, SPA Gender Links, participants assessed and compared the current gender status of various SGP Alliance member countries and narrowed the analysis to the national context to input in this years’ national gender barometer edition, to be launched by SGP Alliance by mid November 2014.
On presentation in sustainable development, she stated that SADC Member States have committed to mainstreaming gender into the SADC Programme of Action and Community Building initiatives as a prerequisite for sustainable development. Furthermore she said the goals to deepen regional integration and strengthen community building can only be realized by eliminating Gender inequalities and marginalization of women throughout the SADC region. It is therefore of paramount importance that appropriate policies, legislation, programmes, projects and activities aimed at ensuring gender equality and women’s empowerment are implemented in all SADC Member States.
Some of the key alarming issues after her presentation were whether the statistical data provided by various information sources on status of various gender aspects give a true picture of what is happening at the ground level. Along side this is the issue of quality of the outputs achieved. For instance although statistical data from various sources portray that girls enrolment to primary and secondary school has increased in number there is still a huge disparity between girls and boys who completes in science and mathematics subjects and even a much more bigger difference for those who complete universities. Yet the learning environment in many areas is not supportive for girl children and women teachers.
Other aspects which erected a discussion were whether to remain in the traditional gender concept of gender based violence (GBV) or shift to a more practical concept of violence against women (VAW) which is gaining more popularity in some of the SGP Alliance member countries since many of the GBV survivors and victims are women as compared to men.
The agenda of climate change was also on the row for discussion. Participants noted that although climatic change is a cross cutting issue it is nevertheless not linked to gender issues while the more affected group is that of women and girl child who have been handling the household chores such as firewood collection and involved in agricultural activities and are the most affected with natural catastrophes such as floods and droughts.
However, still missing from global agenda are issues of women presentations in ICT and media given the existing gender disparities in income and education and the location of a large proportion of the female population in rural areas, the analysis found that females are disadvantaged with respect to broad ICT access and usage.
While ICT adoption cannot on its own address the broad challenges of socio-economic development, gender-based policy and regulation is necessary to unlock heightened ICT usage by women as a contributing factor to development.
The participants concluded the workshop by a discussion on national post 2015 targets and indicators. The target and indicators’ clusters included gender and responsive governance, economic and climatic justice, gender management systems, voice and women rights. Other clusters which were not included for reason of lack of reliable data among others are constitutional and legal rights, violence against women and peace and security.
Participants finally highlighted the need for use of GMS’ and being experienced in it TGNP was asked to guide other stakeholders in the use of GMS. Also participants raised a voice on the need to mainstream gender budget (GRB) in every aspect.
However there is a challenge of access to official information on gender issues especially in the fields of media, climate change to mention a few which makes it difficult to incorporate some of the key issues in the barometer because there is no evidence to support the information.

Group discussion during the workshop                    
The stakeholder are thus looking forward to hold a reference group workshop earlier next week to finalize the process of drafting Tanzania Gender Barometer, as a participant said “it is a good tool for advocating for women access to economic resources and against women violence. 
TGNP Mtandao over the years has been developing an annual national Gender Profile and this barometer is expected to feed year’s gender profile.

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