Women finally do justice to the draft constitution


MWANZA - Women in the Lake Zone have realized that they failed to effectively use the earlier visit by the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) to address major issues of concern, whereas, for some time yet the killings of the elderly and the albinos are still ranking high on the list.

This transpired during a forum to review the first draft of the national Constitution, which was organised by Meatu Non-Governmental Organisation network in Busega District through the funding by the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS). Thus, women from Mara, Mwanza and Simiyu regions expressed their concern that issues, which directly affect women in their areas, were not adequately addressed during the CRC tour - since majority of women only treated the CRC tours just like any other political events.
“For us as women, we had gone a little bit astray. We regarded most people who gave their opinions during the CRC tour just like mouthpieces of politicians and other organisations. We have discovered that key major issues such as gender-based violence, land ownership, albino and the elderly killings were scarcely addressed,” noted Theresai Stephan.
Having alluded to that she said by being given the second chance to air their views – now on the first draft of the document - it only amounted to as an opportune time to enhance their engagement.
With the funds from FCS, the organisation managed to organise a discussion forum on the first draft of the constitution. The participants unanimously applauded the draft but with the recommendation to emphasize on affirming women’s rights clearly in the new constitution.
Denying widows the right to inherit estates of their deceased husbands, low representation of women in leadership positions, child marriages and the related, were among things that women in the Lake Zone want to be firmly addressed in the new constitution.

Their views and discussion had borrowed the tenets of the Tanzania’s Vision 2025 which aims at creating a conducive environment that will help all people to have a better life and good leadership that respects the rule of law and that which fosters a good and competitive economic development.

The women said in order to bring about gender balance in the society and empower women; several socio-economic, political and cultural issues must be considered and incorporated in the new constitution.

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