Tanzania Mothers’ Union prioritizes women’s empowerment

By Bellah Zulu
Posted Oct 6, 2014

[Anglican Communion News Service] The Mother’s Union (MU) in Tanzania is prioritizing the empowerment of women and girls in the country to “make them more independent and less subject to gender-based violence.”

In an interview with ACNS, Mothers’ Union Provincial Coordinator for Tanzania, Margareth Massawa revealed that MU there is empowering women and girls with skills in entrepreneurship, leadership and advocacy.

“For instance, at one of the local training centers, Mtumba Rural Women Training Centre, we are empowering women and girls with early childhood and primary teachers education, as well as teaching them entrepreneurship skills,” said Massawa. “This will ensure that they’re more independent and less subjected to gender-based violence.”

She added: “We are also training women and girls in advocacy and also helping them become more aware of their rights. For example, providing information about marriage laws, will-writing and inheritance laws.”

Despite women’s property rights being stipulated in the country’s constitution, a recent report revealed that about 40 percent of the cases presented by women were about inheritance and property grabbing.

“We also have plans to empower MU leaders from all the 27 dioceses in the Anglican Church of Tanzania, including bishops’ wives, Mothers’ Union diocesan presidents and vice presidents so that they’re able to adequately handle various issues of women and girls empowerment,” she said.

The Tanzania MU has also been a pioneer in providing health education on diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, cancer and HIV/AIDS. “We not only show compassion to sick people and other vulnerable groups, but also provide various materials for them and pray with them,” said Massawa.

Recent reports from the Province show that the Anglican Church of Tanzania has about 815,000 Mothers’ Union members, currently the largest of any one country in Africa. Its members spread across the country’s 27 dioceses and the according to Massawa, “current figures are even higher.”