Stories

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Mariamu Rasidi Tungu is one of the many women farmers in rural Tanzania. Together, UN Women and UNFPA are jointly supporting them to increase their production, and train them in new skills to boost their incomes, economic resilience and agency.
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As we celebrate International Day of the Girl Child, we hear from some of the participants of the African Girls Can Code Initiative as they share what they learned on this journey, and how they are using their newfound skills to benefit their communities.
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Through her work at the Tanzania Media Women’s Association in Zanzibar, Mzuri Issa is at the forefront of pushing for legal reforms and changing policies and attitudes that impede women’s access to leadership and decision-making. Her tough childhood experiences motivate her to advocate for the rights of women and girls, using the media.
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Monica Chiwalo is 82 and mostly dependent on her children. She raised four children on her own after the death of her husband. The COVID-19 outbreak in Tanzania has devastated the livelihoods of families that rely on the informal sector and have no safety nets. Elderly women like Chiwalo are especially vulnerable to its health and economic impacts. Their voice and experience must be included in recovery efforts.
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The Ngorongoro district in Arusha region is a land of craters, sacred forests and mountains, wild animals and the unique Maasai people. It is striking how this noble community has learnt to co-exist with nature, sharing land, wild food, herbs and water with the wild animals that roam freely in this beautiful paradise. This remarkable way of life has endured for many years and attracted thousands of tourists from around the world to Tanzania’s tourism hub, creating business opportunities for the Maasai people.
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Fatma Ahmed, 25, is a Generation Equality Champion and Founder of the Girls’ Inclusion in Sports Campaign based in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
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Getrude Mligo, 23, was born two years after the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. As a high school student in Songea region of Tanzania, the gender inequalities she saw in her community, especially child marriages that forced girls out of school, prompted her to look back to the 1995 blueprint and begin asking questions. In 2020, Mligo participated in a UN Women mentorship programme as part of UN Women’s Generation Equality campaign, in partnership with Plan International, which paired her with UN Women Representative in Tanzania, Hodan Addou. In this interview, Mligo shares what it means to be a champion for Generation Equality.
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Abel Koka, 30, is an Assistant Programme Coordinator for Restless Development in Tanzania. Koka is working to raise youth awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals and Family Planning 2020, and encouraging young activists to hold their government accountable. Koka is also a member of UN Women’s Beijing +25 Youth Task Force.
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Under a new partnership with UN Women, Unilever is supporting over 1,000 smallholder farmers and raising awareness among its 6,000 employees in Tanzania.
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In Ngorongoro, a remote district in Arusha, rural communities are bearing the brunt of a changing climate that is ravaging many parts of East Africa. The Energize project is working to build new skills for out-of-school pastoralist adolescent girls and young women on biogas and solar energy products, as well as on how to run sustainable businesses.
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A recently organized learning visit brought two rural women’s collectives together to share strategies, insights and experiences. In the world of international development, such exchanges are termed “South–South cooperation”—exchange of ideas, experiences, and opportunities between entrepreneurs, communities, and experts from the Global South. “It enabled both organizations to monitor and analyse the impact of their projects on the quality of lives of women in Tanzania and Algeria, consulting each other on alternatives and progress in their livelihoods systems and value chains.”
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Tanzania recently hosted the Planning and Implementation of Prevalence Surveys on Violence Against Women Regional Workshop for Eastern and Southern Africa, organized by UN Women in close collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and funded by the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom (DFID). In this interview, UN Women Representative for Tanzania, Hodan Addou explains why having reliable data and evidence is key to preventing and addressing violence against women.
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Elizabeth Maro Minde is the Managing Director of Kilimanjaro Women Information Exchange Community Organization in Tanzania, a grantee of UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality. Minde and her organization provides legal counselling and representation to marginalized women in rural communities. She spoke to UN Women during the 63rd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women about the issue of land rights.
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From marketplaces in the Pacific to parks in eastern Europe, women are rising up and demanding safety, respect and inclusion in public spaces, and coming together to make it happen. Through community efforts, UN Women is working around the world to help women claim their space.
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Betty Mtehemu, Deputy Chairperson of Fabric Clothes Sector, and Chairperson of the Women’s Union in Dar es Salaam’s Mchikichini Market has seen how raising awareness of women’s rights in the workplace has improved the safety of the market.
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Faidah Suleiman is the Superintendent of Police, Gender and Children Desk in Tanzania. With 20 years of police experience, she has been part of the Gender Desk since it was established in 2009. In 2014, UN Women partnered with the Gender and Children Desks to improve the quality of services provided.
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Johanitha Katunzi, 43, is a business woman in the Temeke markets in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Raising awareness of women’s rights in the workplace has improved the safety of the market, and increased access to financial services has enabled Katunzi to buy land. Now, she is able to send her three children to school.
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Remarks by Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at the Gender and News Summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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During her three-day visit to Tanzania, UN Women Executive Director visited women market vendors, met with government officials and dignitaries, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Augustine Mahiga, women parliamentarians, women’s rights organizations and youth groups, among others. She also attended the Gender and News Summit organized by UN Women in Dar es Salaam from 22 to 24 August.
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Ruth Kihiu is a Programme Manager at The Pastoral Women’s Council (PWC), which works to socio-economically empower marginalized pastoralist Maasai women in Ngorongoro, Monduli, and Longido districts in Tanzania, through livelihood and income-generating activities. PWC, supported by UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality, also aims to educate women and girls about their rights and equip them with leadership skills.