They said a number of women fish vendors operating at the markets have in recent months been sexually abused by men, which threatened their presence in the market.
They were speaking in the city during a campaign organized by the Equality for Growth (EFG) to build awareness on gender equality as well as sexual violence in the country.
Speaking at different times, Saida Ally, one of the fish vendors at the ferry market, said such acts remained a big challenge at the marketplace.
She said women were also insulted and sometimes men even refused to pay their bills for food services rendered.
“We feel both uncomfortable and unsafe when doing business, thus failing to meet our economic goals,” she said.
She said with increased incidents of sexual violence at the market, some women had terminated buying fish or offering food services at the place.
She said men needed to respect women’s rights and keep in mind that women too were income earners like men.
However, Abdalah Makame, one of the vendors at the market, denied the claims, saying women had been influenced to make such claims.
He said women needed first to respect themselves before making sexual abuse claims.
For her part, EFG Project Officer Grace Hamis said the campaign dubbed, ‘Mpe riziki si matusi’ aimed at raising awareness against gender-based violence at market places.
She said so far a number of markets had been visited where they witnessed a lot of challenges faced by women.
The markets they had so far visited include Mchikichi in Ilala district, and other markets in Temeke and Tabata areas.
This is the second awareness campaign to be carried out in city markets following the first one which was completed last year.