Access to education and training: Pathway to decent work for women

08Mar 2018
The Guardian
Access to education and training: Pathway to decent work for women

INTERNATIONAL Women's Day is celebrated every year on March 8. International Women's Day has been observed since 1909 in the United States.

After a while the people of United States stopped celebrating this holiday. In the 1920s Soviet Union, and then some other communist countries like China and Cuba, started celebrating this day as a holiday for women and world peace. Since then the holiday has become more and more popular around the world.

In many places, the day does not have a political aspect, and is simply a time for men to express their love for women. It is similar to a mixture of Mother's Day and Valentine's Day. Men present their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc. with flowers and small gifts. In some countries International Women's Day is observed like Mother's Day, where children give small gifts to their mothers and grandmothers. In some countries, women get a half-day off work. Often, schools will have a celebration where students will honour their teachers.

In 1975, the United Nations also started to recognise this holiday. The UN chooses a political or social theme for the holiday each year. For example, the 2011 theme was ""Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women." In this way, the holiday is a time to look at the social and economic problems women have around the world.

In Tanzania, labour force participation is 88.1 per cent for women and 90.2 per cent for men. Women are more likely than men to be poor and illiterate and less likely to have access to training and credit. Yet, women are the main caregivers in many households. The economic necessity of taking up paid work constrains women’s time, creating strains within the family. Women are forced to adapt on a daily basis to compromise on either their paid work (in terms of where they work, and what jobs they undertake) or their social responsibilities in the effort to make this new reality work for the woman, her family and community.

While Tanzania has been at the forefront of creating a positive legal framework and political context for gender equality, certain legal, regulatory, and administrative barriers still hinder women's full participation in private sector development. We need change, to ensure women's full contribution to private sector development and economic growth in Tanzania. Addressing these issues would not only help unlock the full economic potential of women, but would help improve the environment for all businesses in Tanzania.

The World Bank Group recognises the critical importance of women's contribution to shared economic growth, especially in Africa. Women's important contribution to economic activity in Tanzania is well recognised: In the 2006 World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap report Tanzania was ranked number 1 globally, out of 115 countries, in terms of women's economic participation. This paper includes the following headings: gender and economic growth in Tanzania; starting and closing a business; access to land and site development; access to finance; operating a business -- taxation, infrastructure, and access to day care; labour laws -- how they affect women; access to commercial justice; access to international trade; and the way forward.