- Published on Saturday, 18 August 2012 02:41
- Written by DAILY NEWS Reporter
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RESEARCH on issues related to women empowerment has been cited as an important strategy towards achieving the country's economic development in an effort to alleviate abject poverty.
This was said by Dr Avis Alexandria Jones - DeWeever, the Director of the National Council of Negro Women's new research institute called the Research, Public Policy and Information Centre in US at a public lecture on women empowerment held in Dar es Salaam recently.
The centre gathers and disseminates information that empowers African American women and stimulates advocacy to improve the quality of life for women, their families and their communities. "Empowerment gives women ability to control their destiny, to make own decisions, act independently and confidently on what they believe without fear of violence," she said.
She said women empowerment, particularly in growing economies like Tanzania is a priority if real development is to be achieved. Moving the 2012/13 budget estimates in Dodoma last June, the Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Dr William Mgimwa said some of the measures to empower different groups of women included are the policy and legal environment to facilitate the growth of the private sector.
Also it aims to expand financial services, including recapitalization of the Tanzania Investment Bank (TIB), Tanzania Women's Bank (TIB), Tanzania Postal Bank (TPB), and Twiga BankCorp; and facilitating the establishing the Mortgage and Lease Financing Company.
Other measures taken include the implementation of construction of infrastructure projects, specifically roads, electricity, agriculture and telecommunication, and to empower people through various empowerment programmes.
Dr Alexandria said African American women believe strongly on the power of education to emancipate those who contribute more than 29 billion US dollars to the US Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Despite socio-economic problems, she said Africa has great potentials for empowering women who in turn could contribute immensely to the efforts put by their respective governments to end miseries caused by poverty.
She added that women empowerment was a long process that needs participation of all non actors and particularly their partners in family or husbands. "It is self interest to men ensuring that women empowerment is a reality," she said.
In his opening remarks, the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) Executive Director Dr Bohela Lunogelo said having large numbers of women participating in decision making machinery was insufficient if empowerment was lacking.
He said ESRF was always advocating for the improvement of the environment for women empowerment especially in the participation of various entrepreneurship activities which could earn them necessary income to reduce dependency on men but most importantly for own and family wellbeing.
"ESRF as a research institute has been participating in building capacity to different groups in the society including women through trainings, seminars, policy dialogues and other events like public lectures," he said.