Sunday, December 4, 2016

TASAF advised to focus on women empowerment

TANZANIA Social Action Fund (TASAF) has been urged to work more to empower women in aspects of access and decision on credits to fulfill their desire to redeem Tanzanians from poverty. This is according to the baseline results from the research on the impact of cash transfers on women’s empowerment and on Youth wellbeing along with their transition to adulthood in Tanzania conducted by a research institution REPOA in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). According to the report, giving cash transfers might result in more control on the income, but empowering women to have ability to make decisions on resources is even more important because it is linked with graduation out of poverty. REPOA Senior Researcher, Dr Flora Myamba, said TASAF may need to work more to empower women in aspects of resources that are ownership, sale, purchase and transfer of assets, as helping women was good for both men and women in families and communities. “The study is important because economic growth and poverty alleviation are linked with gender relations and women’s empowerment, their inclusion and empowerment is not only a human right but a more efficient way to promote growth and poverty alleviation,” she remarked Dr Myamba said the study was carried out before phase three funds were disbursed, “We will carry out another study 18 months later after they get the funds from TASAF, asking the same questions to find out if there are any improvements,” Expounding further, she said the overall goal of the study was to explore the extent to which the Productive Social Safety Net (PSSN) implemented through TASAF enhance women autonomy and power to make decisions in production, resources, income, leadership and time use. She said the study was conducted in May-July 2015 in eight districts in the mainland and one from the Island was included in youth survey. Among other key findings of baseline surveys, she said, found that targeted population was really poor, which means TASAF targeting of extreme poor was successful for 90 per cent, where they also explored the role of culture, religion and legal aspects in facilitating and or obstructing women’s empowerment. The sample size for the study was 1,335 households with 11,000 people and on youth from same households, 800 were picked, in which 1,300 youth were interviewed. The districts involved were Uyui, Kisarawe, Handeni, Itilima, Mbogwe, Kahama, Misungwi, Kilosa and Unguja. On youth survey, she said the study covered age’s ranging from 14 to 28 years, in which they found that there were low reported rates of having basic material needs met. Only 1 in 4 have all their basic material needs met. “There were high level of violence reported, which includes acceptability of domestic violence, emotional, physical and sexual, where 70 percent of females agreed that husbands were justified in beating their wives,” Dr Myamba said Director for Non- Governmental Organization (NGOs) from the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Mr Marcell Katemba, said knowledge on those areas was of great interest to policy makers as women in Tanzania tend to be left out in the mainstream economic activities

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