Our economy will be poorer without the participation of women

02Jan 2018
The Guardian
Our economy will be poorer without the participation of women

"INVESTING in women's economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth. Women make enormous contributions to economies, whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, or by doing unpaid work at home."

The above quote from the United Nations aptly sums up the issues around women's participation in the economy. It was part of the UN’s  message at a meeting this year.

The gender discourse, increasingly taking centre stage in this country particularly as regards women's increased participation in the economy, is surely bound to transform the economic complexion of this country if outcomes of many meetings held in the country  and many others are adhered to the letter.

It is certainly not news that the economy is poorer without the participation of the majority of its citizenry who happen to be women.

Over the years, many a meeting have been held as the country catches on to the global trend of promoting gender equality, which is usually interpreted to mean women's socio-economic empowerment.

Indeed it is now common knowledge that the development process and any efforts to end poverty cannot achieve must of women are kept at the periphery of programmes and processes meant to grow the economies and turn the world into a better place for the entire human race.

 Women's participation in the economy needed to graduate from mere rhetoric and wishful thinking to actual practical application and inclusion.

  Although some progress had been made in the country, it was still too little to make an impact on the economy. Women have been largely confined to menial jobs and low-end businesses that have not made a significant impact on the Gross Domestic Product.

 High levels of prosperity could only be reached through industrialisation of the economy.

Indeed the government was committed to women's empowerment and was a signatory to several regional and international gender statutes that sought to mainstream gender and empower women.

  It is therefore important for the business sector to invest in women so as to build a strong economy in Tanzania.

In order for our country to develop the private and public sectors need to create synergies and linkages.

Empowering women to participate fully in economic activities is essential in building stronger economies, and improving the quality of life for women, men, families and communities as a whole.

There ought to be many initiatives being implemented to ensure the empowerment of women.  

We urge key players in the privates sector to walk the talk with government in increasing the meaningful participation of women in business for purposes of Tanzania’s economic development and our women's economic empowerment.

 Women are actually increasing being distanced from wealth creation opportunities with their male counterparts. Of the economically active urban women, the majority were still unemployed and living in poverty.

 In fact this perceived women's economic empowerment is a fallacy. We recommend  a gender-responsive research to bring out the true picture so that suitable corrective measures could be implemented.

We want women and all those disadvantaged groups to have opportunities to access appropriate financial services

 There is still more that needs to be done to ensure a more effective and sustainable women empowerment process.

Working with a variety of partners, there should be programmes to promote women's ability to secure decent jobs, accumulate assets, and influence institutions and public policies determining growth and development. One critical area of focus involves advocacy to measure women's unpaid care work, and to take actions so women and men can more readily combine it with paid employment.