Women movements in Tanzania: Changed regimes, unchanged dynamics

Women movement in Tanzania started before uhuru. Women organized in various groups to mobilise people’s participation in the liberation struggles. Some of them include lelemama dance groups, which was instrumental to TANU’s struggles that brought uhuru to Tanganyika in 1961. From independence to the moment women movement has gone through a number of transformations informed by the country’s domestic and external environments. Some of the demands have been quality education, proper health care, violence free society, economic empowerment, social inclusion and non-discriminative policies, laws and regulations.  Acknowledging the significance of women participation in politics, the article dwells on expounding how politics can empower and/or disempower women by supporting or holding back their initiatives in political participation. This article uses participant observation, interviews as primary data collection methods which informs analysis. The article uses transformative feminist theoretical framework for analysis. The main argument is that regardless of the fact that there are more women involved in politics and various decision-making positions, to a larger extent women challenges and demands have remained the same.  The 50/50 advocacy will not necessarily rescue the situation. Perhaps thinking beyond numbers can better situation.

Vicensia Shule . University of Dar es Salaam . vicensiashule@yahoo.com

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