Tanzania: Union leaders support efforts to achieve gender equality

published 25 July 2017 updated 25 July 2017

Leaders of the Tanzania Teachers' Union have agreed on the importance of achieving gender equality in their trade union and enhancing women’s leadership skills, and committed themselves to strategies to achieve it.

The commitments were made by 29 Tanzania Teachers' Union (TTU) District and Regional Gender officers and top union leaders who gathered for a Gender and Leadership Training Workshop in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, from 12-14 July. The workshop was organised by EI’s African Women in Education Network (AWEN).

As a result of the training, the 29 participants acquired greater knowledge and understanding of gender equality issues and acquired leadership skills that will enable them to pass on information and knowledge to other union members.

Boosting women’s participation

Strategies to boost women’s participation in union activities, networking and resource mobilisation were also debated, and the union officials learned about the Women Network in East Africa (WNEA) and the AWEN.

As the number of women in TTU leadership is still low, participants also reflected on ways to help more women to access the union’s decision-making bodies. They recommended increased efforts by the TTU leadership in mainstreaming the gender perspective in their union. They also devised strategies for all union leaders to support and ensure effective implementation of the trade union’s Policy on Gender to enhance gender equality in the union.

Top-tier support

TTU General Secretary Yahya Msulwa emphasised the importance of women’s participation in different trade union activities, especially union leadership, and of increasing their number in the union decision-making organs.

Citing the example of TTU National Women Representative and  member of EI’s African Regional Committee, Stellar Mamotto – who was also present at the meeting – he urged all participants to fully support women in the process of achieving gender equality in the union.

On behalf of the TTU leadership, National Treasurer Abubakary Allawi assured participants that his union will continue empowering and supporting women’s activities, and all the workshop’s recommendations will be sent to the union’s decision-making bodies for adoption and implementation.

The workshop was facilitated by WNEA Chairperson and Uganda National Teachers' Union member Mary Josephine Nabuyungo and WNEA Coordinator and TTU member Mwandile Kiguhe.