TGNP Mtandao in conjunction with the Gender Training Institute (GTI) is conducting two training activities to build the capacity of participants to gender mainstream trade practices partnering with the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF). Each training will be three days, 18th -20th October 2017 at TGNP Mtandao premises.
These trainings intend to build the capacity of duty bearers and stakeholders in trade for women’s economic justice. The first training will be Training of Trainers from different organizations including Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO), Foundation for Civil Society (FCS), Tanzania Women’s Chamber of Commerce, etc., to build their knowledge and skills to gender mainstream their involvement in supporting Women Cross Border Traders (WCBTs).
Participants will be taken through the conceptualization of gender and development in relation to WCBTs in Tanzania and supporting gender mainstreaming in entrepreneurship for WCBTs in relation to East African rules and regulations. The culmination of this knowledge building will then have participants practice the training skills they have learnt to then utilize in future interventions.
The second training will be delivered to customs and logistics staff working with border points in Tanzania. They will be given an understanding of gender concepts and relevant Human Rights Instruments, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This will assist in development of their capacity to gender mainstream trade relevant to the roles they possess and duties they are responsible for. Among the participants include representatives from, Tanzania Revenue Authorities (TRA), Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) and others.
The training was officially opened by the TGNP Mtandao Executive Director, Lilian Liundi, where she welcomed participants and informed them of TGNP’s role working towards improving gender equality of women and marginalized people of Tanzania.
She further stated that this will bring about the economic empowerment among its people to make Tanzania’s economy more sustainable. She made reference to research done by TGNP and East African Sub Regional Strategic Initiative (EASSI) analyzing East African trade policies and laws, which revealed that women involved in informal trade are faced with many challenges and barriers that limit them fully participating in regional trade.
TGNP Mtandao Executive Director, addressing the press during the opening of the trainings.
Speaking during the opening of the training, Beatrice Hezekiel, a gender expert and the main facilitator of the Training of Trainers, explained the various reasons why the training will provide a gateway to solving the various challenges faced by women cross border traders like, language barriers, sexual harassment, prohibitive taxes, exploitation that results from limited knowledge of trade procedures among others.
Other obstacles relate to lack of written (or non-transparency in) rules, meaning difficulty for trader to know their rights, payment of customs duties on goods that are not supposed to attract duties because of lack of knowledge.
Some traders lack proper documents to enable them benefit from paying little or no customs duty that leads them to bribing (in the name of ‘facilitation payments’) to some corrupt customs and border officials.
Also, facing hindrances due to high transaction and compliance costs and hardship to acquire certificates of origin issued away from border stations 11. Complicated documents that have to be filled in and complicated processes of filling them.
“Our aim is to develop the capacity of duty bearers on gender mainstreaming in trade for women’s economic justice, lobby for the implementation of the EAC Elimination NTB Act 2015 in a gender responsive manner and enhance women’s capacity in terms of greater awareness of EAC rules and regulations as they pertain to cross border trade” she explains.
She also added that, the trainings will improve women’s capacity in accessing the regional market and possibly other international markets through experience sharing and learning through case studies, application of ICT for market accessibility, and market analysis.
Also, equip women cross border traders with information on gender equality and women rights that will enable them to advocate for their rights. (understand SME policy and Trade policy in a gender perspective)
This will be in relation to supporting the improvement of WCBTs access to equal opportunities for their trade at border points.