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Tanzania NGOs call for review of laws
impeding women’s development   

DAR ES SALAAM,  (Xinhua) -- Tanzania’s Association of Non-Governmental Organisations on Wednesday marked the International Women’s Day by appealing to the government to fast track the process to review laws that provide limited access of women to participate in economic activities.

The NGOs, dealing with the protection of human rights, also said they were not happy with the fall in the number of women appointed in various administrative posts.

Naemy Sillayo, a representative from the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), said the government’s plans to build an industrial economy will not succeed if there will be no gender balance.

She said lowering the number of women in executive and political positions denied them their right to contribute in building the national economy.

“If we were to count the number of female Members of Parliament we will find them occupying only 30 percent of the entire number of the MPs,” said Sillayo.

“And again we have only four women in the cabinet out of 19 ministers,” she said.

“Despite government efforts to develop an industrial economy, gender inequalities still persist and in most cases women are the victims,” she added.

Rebecca Gyumi, founder of the Msichana Initiatives Association, said it was high time the government respond to various social and economic challenges in the country in order to empower women.

Anna Mgwhira, Chairperson of the Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT-Wazalendo) opposition party, urged women from all walks of life to keep exploring opportunities that would earn them income at the same time raising their voices against gender discrimination.

“As we mark this year’s International Women’s Day, we challenge gender inequalities and ensure women of all ages benefit from policies and programmers that promote equality, and respect the human rights of women of all ages, abilities and statuses,” said Mgwhira.

Mgwhira, who contested in Tanzania’s presidential race in the 2015 general elections, said empowering women was a cross-cutting issue that needed intervention from public and private sectors.

She appealed to financial institutions to loosen lending conditions to enable women acquire loans to enable them engage in entrepreneurship activities.



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