Tanzania: Why Women Should Remember Mwl Nyerere

THIS has been ‘The Mwalimu Julius Nyerere week’. As the nation is set to commemorate the 18th anniversary since Mwalimu Julius Nyerere departed on October 14, 1999, a lot have been discussed about him in his legacy.

The Arusha Declaration has been part and parcel of the discussions in radio and Television stations and feature articles in local newspapers written.

The 1967 declaration, famously known as ‘Azimio la Arusha’ contained the key features of socialism and Mwalimu Nyerere, the founding father of the nation’s philosophical point of view is well contained in it.

Though former Tanzania Assembly Speaker, Pius Msekwa says there are some weaknesses during the implementation of Socialism and Self-reliance backed by the Arusha Declaration, he admits that there are a lot to learn and still to be implemented.

Decades have passed since the Arusha Declaration came into effect as the nation has been commemorating 18th anniversary since Mwalimu Nyerere passed away in London Hospital, United Kingdom.

Currently, right groups in the country have invested heavily in supporting gender parity movements in the country. Education, economic empowerment, domestic violence and gender based budget have been top on its agenda.

On the other side, Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan has been very supportive to women on the right movement geared towards rescuing women from all forms of segregation.

However, did Mwalimu Nyerere’s brain child-Azimio la Arusha laid foundation for women rights? Examining the content of the Arusha Declaration, the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) had stipulated principles that entail a lot about the women’s rights.

In this article, some of these principles are going to be discussed in relation to gender movements in the country.

It was declared that “all human beings are equal” and the Arusha Declaration believed that there should not be segregation in respect to their sex, religion and tribe affiliation. Hence, in accessing social services, or utilizing available resources available in the country, women were not been left behind in the declaration.

Therefore, gender movements aimed at bringing equality should be ongoing process, until all traditional forms which act as obstacles toward eradicating gender inequality in the society being addressed. For many years now, Tanzania has been struggling for women empowerment on economic, social and political spheres. As of now, women are seeking a 50-50 per cent of representation in the Parliament.