Following Kilimanjaro Charter of demands which was presented October last year to AU, women from Tandahimba and Newala met with the district officials to chat the wayfoward on the deliberations of their demands.
The event which was organised by women under the support of Tandahimba LRP was also attended by women groups, councillors, district officials, partners and media and it was officiated by Mr. Ahmad Suleiman -Deputy District Executive Director(DED) Tandahimba District.
Some of Key demands raised by women were; Abolishing traditional practices which hinders women in land ownership and effective implementation of laws and policies related to it, working with women organisation to address gender violence, increase agriculture budget and its effective use, and improving infrastructure at the grassroot for easier transportation of agricultural products.
Responding to the women demands,Mr Suleiman said. “I am grateful to the women small holder farmers for having participated in Kilimanjaro initiatiative and particularly impressed by the increased level of awareness by women in land matters”.
He urged them to be ambassadors on women’s land rights issues. He also insisted that the Constitution of Tanzania, the land law 1999, the Community land law 1999 all provide for equity and equality in land ownership for both men and women.
He also requested the women to report their demands, complaints through various local government administrative offices that exists in their villages and district level.
“Issues of land access, control and ownership by women are currently being addressed by the local government, land committee, the District Commisioners office (DC) through local government lawyer and district courts”added Suleiman
He concluded that Local government has been supporting women groups who manly add value to cashewnuts through facilitating access to credit and loans. During the 2016/2017 financial year, the local government had a budget of Tsh 300,000,000 million . Women groups have been able to access these funds to support their businesses through the LG’s credit bank-TACOBA.
In the same financial year, the district opened a cashewnut value addition industry to enable women process cashew nuts with high value and penetrate competitive markets.
In 2016 Actionaid and other partners implemented Women to Kilimanjaro initiative which brought together a total of 400 rural women from 22 countries in Africa at the foot of Mt Kilimanjaro.
The objective of the initiative was to amplify the voices of smallholder women farmers so as to enable them to inform policy makers, leaders and decision makers at the Africa Union to listen to their grievances and demands on issues on access to, control and ownership of land and other natural resources. Rural women from across Tanzania also joined other women from Africa in climbing mt kilimanjaro and mass assembly for the same purpose.