From where I stand: “Because I know my rights, I can speak up for myself and for other women”
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.
Every morning, I wake up at 4:30 a.m. to get ready for the market. I arrive by 6 a.m., and I work for 11 hours most days.
When I began working in the market four years ago, women were abused there. However, education has made the market a safer place for women.
We know and understand our rights in the workplace. We understand that women have the right to own land, just like men, and we know we have the right to report abuse.
Because I know my rights, I can speak up for myself and for other women. For example, after a woman was abused by a man in the market, I assisted her in reporting the abuse, and the man has been convicted.
I know that nobody can threaten me, or other women, in our workplace.
The market’s economy has also improved for women; there are twelve financial groups that provide us with loans, giving us access to financial capital. I have been able to buy four acres of land.
Now my challenge is finding enough time to rest!
Because of the income I earn from the market, I can afford to send all three of my children to school. This is important to me because when I was young I was not given the same opportunities to study as my brothers.
I want to give all my children equal access to education so that they have equal opportunities in their futures.”
Johanitha Katunzi received training on women’s rights through partnership between UN Women and a local organization, Equality for Growth. Since taking the course, Katunzi has become a landowner and has educated all three of her children. Her story highlights the importance of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8, which promotes safe and secure working environments for all workers, as well as full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men.