Women`s Day – Team Kinnihe

7th March 2015

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This International Women’sDay,Team Kinnihe has taken the opportunity to gain work experience with women in their village. The group will be shadowing selected women in their households to gain an insight into the life of a woman in rural Tanzania. This week Sarah and Chacha went into a household where there was a lot of agricultural work to do,Sarah and Ronald went to a domestic householdand Richard and Miriamvisited the chairman’s wife, Lucille.More placements are planned for the rest of the week.

We have discovered that women are not subordinated in the sense that we may understand, however they are not fully empowered by the definition that group hold. Women are not treated as lower class citizens butthey have not been given the same right that some may expect.

A positiveaspect we found there are some women’s groups which are already present in the village.Mama John (Sarah and Chacha) spoke of the importance of this demonstrating the women of the village can unite and be respected.One of roles of this group involves looking after money, including those loans when needed. However, women are not present in every section of the village.This means not every woman feels empowered or engaged in the village. It is important to have those groups to be able to discuss business and employment issues.

 

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Team Kinnihe plan to educate as many households as possible on tippy taps and rocket stoves enabling an easier life. We hope that these resources will provide women with more time, enabling women’s groups to be present across the whole village. Something which struck some of the volunteers, was that when they asked the mamas ‘what it is like to be a women here and whether they were happy’ the response was ‘normal’. They all went on to explain that even if a woman wants things to be different, whatcould they possibly do to change it? Where else would they go? Their husband, children, house and animals were all right in the village. They have no option to live differentlyand some women seem not to know the possibility of doing things more for themselves. This is not to say that these women do not have ambition.Mama Dickson has the dream of one day owning her own shop selling soda and biscuits. She also has a long standing dream for her children to become doctors and teachers. Furthermore, Lucille is awell-respected woman in her own right, being a primary school teacher.Many community members have been taught by her, meaningshe is regarded as a knowledgeable women. Being a chairman’s wife increases her gravitas as well as supporting her husband.

One thing that always shines through these women is the fact that ‘penzi la mama haliishi’ meaning‘mother’s love never ends’.