AS activists strive to find solutions to persisting gender inequality and gender based violence in Zanzibar, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the UN Women have promised to continue supporting all initiatives that will bear better results.
Speaking at the ‘Zanzibar Gender Profile Validation’ meeting held at the Office of the Chief Government Statistician (OCGS), Mazizini area, the AfDB Senior Officer and the UN Women officer said that working with the government and other stakeholders remains vital in addressing gender inequality and violence.
Dr Elena Nikolova from the AFDB said the bank is committed to support Zanzibar, but poised a question as to “why violence against women and children and gender inequality persist under the ‘visible good will, and laws and policies in place?” She asked activists and other stakeholders to come up with better ways to address gaps in education, property ownership, access to finance, women entrepreneurship still low, women leadership in private sector still very low and Gender Based Violence is still going.
Ms Fortunata Temu presented to the audience at the OCGS and others who attended the meeting virtually, the ‘Zanzibar gender profile’ revealing several gaps in property ownership, economic activities including tourism, leadership and media among others in which women representation still low.
Dr Mitra Sadananda, a Program Specialist from UN Women said: “We have been working on the Zanzibar gender profile for the last six months, stakeholders should use the validation meeting to give their inputs on how best we can move on and make Zanzibar a better place for women as far as gender equality and free of violence are concerned.”
Both Ms Nasima Haji Chum – Director (Women and Children Development) and Ms Abeida Rashid- Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health , Social Welfare, Elders, Gender and Children thanked both AfDB and UN women for the commitment and that the gender profile will be a working document.
Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous territory in political union with Tanzania. It consists of the island of Zanzibar or Unjuga, Pemba as well as smaller neighbouring islands.