March 8th 2017, International Women’s Day
Tanzania is committed to gender equality and women empowerment initiatives and it is evidently from its ratification of Regional and International Agreements on the same. In order to achieve this commitment Tanzania established a fully-fledged Ministry as machinery to take a leading role for guiding national initiatives on gender equality and women empowerment. Through this Ministry the International Women’s Day (IWD) is coordinated. The role of the Ministry is to guide all sectors by interpreting the IWD theme into Tanzania context, providing guidelines for celebrations in different parts of its operations.
The Institute of Adult Education (IAE) as Government entity for a long time has been engaged in promoting gender equality and women empowerment initiatives. The IAE has a department that is mandated at providing mass education and women empowerment programmes and projects. It is through this department that, the IAE ensures its participation to the international and national agenda for promoting women advancement including IWD celebrations.
The theme for the year 2017 IWD celebrations was “An Industrialized Tanzania: Women are Pillar towards Economic Development”. In Dar es Salaam, the event was organized by the Regional Commissioner’s office at Mwembeyanga grounds in Temeke District. The IAE participated fully by joining other women from different sectors in an organized rally while carrying banners with different messages. Regardless of the bad weather (rainy) women were exited and came out together in hundreds to celebrate the Day. At the celebrations, Temeke District Commissioner, Felix Lyaviva represented the Dar es Salaam Region Commissioner to officiate the event. He acknowledged women’s effort in economic development of the country and asked women to fight for their rights to involve in decision making processes at different levels, ownership of resources and health, and fight against gender violence and discrimination. However, he tasked women to vie for leadership position to increase their representation in decision making bodies. The District Commissioner asked Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA) and Small Industries Development Organizations (SIDO) to offer entrepreneurship skills to women in SMEs to empower women economically. Also, at the event,women investors asked the government to create a friendly tax environment to encourage women to invest in available business opportunities.