Women Protection and Development
Women as a group are one of the most disadvantaged sections of society in Arusha region. The degree of depriving of women of their rights and their true position in society is high among the people of the region, especially in rural areas. Women in the region suffer from a high degree of social inferiority influenced by customs and low status in the family circle. The absence of women in leadership position at community, ward, district and regional levels demonstrates this. The practice of high bride prices reduces women to economic objects for ownership by the highest bidder. Thus the huge majority of women in the region are restricted to their traditional roles of child minders, family cooks and housekeepers, firewood and water collectors, farm labourers and even house builders.
Traditional customs such as the custom of female genital mutilation (female circumcision) are still much in evidence in this region and is still being practiced by some tribes while in certain other tribes within the region, the thin dividing line between rape and consensus sex continues to relegate women to the status of love objects.
The response of the government and enlightened civil society has been to try to mainstream women protection and development in the region’s development agenda. This has called for the emancipation and empowerment of women through the legal window and the alternatives of public education and the broaching gender issues in fora at all levels of society. The goal is for the region to catch up with the rest of the country in the matter of women equity and equality with men.
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