As in most parts of rural Tanzania, women in Kilwa district have been relegated by broad social and cultural constraints. As a result, they are not just denied social recognition, but also suffer economic and political disempowerment.
Apart from being left as producers with little or no ownership of resources they are also victims of harmful practices such as early marriage, polygamy, rape, unplanned pregnancies, abandonment of women and children after divorce as well as teen pregnancies.
There were efforts done by the government and other actors to address the issue but still little has been observed as only few women has started to take action compared to the number of women in the district which is 52% of the total population.
After few years of repeated meetings and training conducted by Kilwa LRP on issues affecting the rights of women, Pili Kuliwa and other women have learned how to be bold and speak in public and stand for their rights. But their issues could not come out easily as they were lacking a platform for them to address and amplify their voices
To address this challenge, the women mobilised themselves and established the District women forum known as (TUJIWAKI-. Tumaini Jipya Wanawake Kilwa) under the support of the LRP and it was launched recently.
The launching event was attended by women rights association members, Relevant district authorities department,CSOs working on women rights, police gender desk,women councillors,Bank officers, Magistrate and Religious leaders .
The launching also went along with the process of platform constitution review and endorsement.
Kuliwa Secretary of the platform had the following to say."The objective of establishing this platform is to use it for awareness raising on issues of violence and women rights in all aspects".
She added that challenges faced by women and children in their communities are the ones which forced them also to establish that forum. "Our long term wish is to see women in another level."added Pili
Ashura Kangomba one of members also contributed that they expect the platform to bring all women in the district together by bridging the gap between empowered and less empowered women towards realizing their common goal.
Speaking at the launch, the District Commisioner Hon Christopher Ngubiagai who graced the event congratulated the women for reaching such a stage. He encouraged them to start taking lead of their life to improve their economic situation through accessing and using the district 10% fund allocated to women and youth instead of keeping on complaining.
He also appreciated Kilwa LRP for valuable contribution of empowering women in the District."For sure you created a potential and sustainable way through which women will continue to realise their potentials"concluded Hon ngubiagai