Global Resources

Towards Gender Equality in Tanzania: A Profile on Gender Relations

Author: B. Keller, D. Kitunga
Publication Date: Jun 1999
How are men's social identities constructed in Tanzania? How can available qualitative and quantitative data be used in such a way as to reveal the nuances of interaction between women and men there? These and other questions are addressed in this gender country profile, which resulted from a participatory methods workshop on gender and development issues in Tanzania. While focusing on gender relations, the profile also highlights women's situation per se. It emphasises vital areas identified by Tanzanian activists and areas where initiatives to transform gender relations are currently being implemented. After outlining the context within which gender relations operate in Tanzania, the profile goes on to consider gender relations and the law, focusing on customary law, in view of its importance. Subsequent sections of the profile deal with work and livelihoods, with attention to sustainable rural livelihoods, land and out-migration among other issues. The next sections address the gender dimensions of poverty in Tanzania; education, health and well-being; public life, political participation, and the media and information, with a particular focus on Tanzanian women's political empowerment and on gender budget initiatives there. The final section looks at the potential for transforming unequal gender relations and for empowering women in Tanzania, as well as at the present challenges and constraints. Case studies on Tabata women organising; widows' choices; changing male attitudes; sex work and HIV/ AIDs; the low status of women workers; internalisation of customary attitudes; gender relations in the academy; a man's view of his sexuality; and on gender power imbalance are provided.