Women can play vital role in industrial agenda

WOMEN in Tanzania can play a fundamental role in pushing and realizing the industrial economy, the Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP) has said. TGNP Executive Director Ms Lilian Liundi said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that women plays central role in the family and society and thus their active participation in the industrial agenda could have a multiplying effect in building strong economy.

“It is important that policy makers consider women participation in building industrial economy that may have direct impact in reducing and finally ending poverty in the family level and the society,” she said after opening discussions with various stakeholders from public institutions and non-governmental organisations.During the sessions, Prof Flora Kessy from TGNP made clinical analysis of challenges that women in the country face and how they can actively participate in realizing and building strong and successful industrial economy.

She said the UN statistics show that women contribute about 43 per cent of the world workforce and in other countries reaches 70 per cent thus making them an important development backbone.

She said in Tanzania for example, agriculture employs around 65.5 per cent of the population, majority of whom are women. This alone gives strong signal of considering women group as important segment in building strong industrial economy.

However, she said there are still challenges as nearly 51.1 per cent of women are employed in the informal sector, only 8 per cent of women own land and the majority of women about 60 per cent falling into poverty group.

“…Gender is a fundamental issue that need to be prioritized particularly women participation in building productive and strong industrial economy,” she added. On her part, Prof Kessy said some economic activities that women are engaged currently need to be improved and empowered in order to contribute in economic growth.

She said some women already participate in small scale processing industries that could be improved with modern technology and link them with markets thus boosting their incomes and raising living standard