Women`s economic position can be boosted if the government empowers the informal sector by giving it priority in its yearly budget.
Jane Magigita, Executive Director of Dar es Salaam based Equality for Growth (EfG) made the call Wednesday in the city during a leadership seminar for women business groups.
All responsible ministries like Community Development, Gender and Children and Industry and Trade have been called to liaison the position of Tanzanian women in the nation’s economy.
Magigita lamented on what she described as ‘inefficient plans by the government’ which have failed to deliver to a majority of the women. As a matter of fact, statistics indicate that about 75 percent of women in the country do not have bank accounts, which to the director translates to little if any savings at all.
“EfG has been empowering these women…giving them one voice to demand their rights but also to catch the attention of policy makers …,” she explained and went on to applaud the organizations grand milestones which she listed descriptively.
Equality for Growth has provided women in the area with leadership skills allowing them to contest for various posts in the market in the hope that, in Magigita’s words, they may raise and address various issues challenging their businesses.
According to research conducted by EFG in 2009, over 70 percent of women are victims of harassment and violence in the business environment including in formal government offices (no cases were cited).
The two day -seminar attracted over 55 leaders from six market locales in the Ilala municipality including, Ferry, Mchikichini, Ilala, Boma, Buguruni and Kisutu.
“These are big markets…5000 businesses and counting…yet the voice of women in these markets is still low…,” she complained but went on to air her optimism of the event saying,“…we believe that upon completion of this seminar these women leaders will go on to strengthen their groups and address all sensitive issues....”
Magigita acknowledged the lack of information as a deterring factor that limits women development. Few women are aware of their rights despite clear stipulation in the country’s constitution and a male chauvinistic cultural background is to blame.
Women have been encouraged to take the lead to improve their lives this in the face of the many huddles, challenges and opposition.