TZ to fix ‘anti-women’ laws

President Jakaya Kikwte at the UN

President Jakaya Kikwte at the UN

The Tanzanian government is set to change laws that are not women friendly in bid to ensure they (women) are treated equally under the law, President Jakaya Kikwete has told the United Nations.

Delivering a keynote address during a global leaders’ meeting on gender equality and women’s empowerment held at the UN Headquarters in New York Friday, President Kikwete said “We will amend all remaining laws which maintain cultural aspects that are deemed discriminatory against women.”

Kikwete was referring to legislations like the marriage act, property and inheritance and development of a stand-alone act on ending violence against women.

President Kikwete also told the world Tanzania will promote and support financing of gender equality in line with the Addis Ababa financing for development agenda.

These efforts plus the country’s to fully adopt all women’s rights treaties, particularly the convention on elimination of all forms of discrimination against women serve as an example to other nations, Anna Collins-Falk, UN Women country representative has said.

Ms Collins-Falk who was visiting the Tanzania Media Women Association in Dar es Salaam Thursday said “as women and human rights defenders we need to cerebrate.”

The UN Women country boss said the just launched Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) if well implemented could help address domestic violence against women, women empowerment and poverty reduction.
“The world has agreed on a better tomorrow. We have to recognize the contribution of women,” she said adding “An effective commitment is required to implement the whole plan.”
The UN Women representative says her organisation is committed to closely working with the government and partnering with women’s rights organisations to help the country meet its commitments.

“Let us step it up for gender equality, all of us, government, UN, civil society, media and members of the public—both women and men, girls and boys, we need to take action as we continue to work together to make Tanzania’s commitments a reality,” she appealed to stakeholders.

Vicky Mandari, Chairperson Coalition for Gender and the Constitution said Tanzania needs a special and independent mechanism similar to a commission to follow-up smooth implementation of the commitments.

She said should women get excluded in property ownership nothing can be attained as they will continue to be dependent on men throughout their lives.

“We have struggled to bring gender equity across all walks of life. This is another widow (SDGs) to improve the lives of a girl and woman in the society,” she added.