Jump to main content
IndustriALL logotype

Addressing gender based violence in Tanzania

22 May, 2014IndustriALL conducted several activities with Tanzanian affiliates during the week of 12 May to encourage workers to take up action on sexual harassment and gender based violence and raise awareness on HIV and AIDS.

A Women’s Workshop in Arusha brought together 25 women shop stewards from the energy, mining and textile sectors organised by the Tanzania Union of Industrial and Commercial Workers (Tuico) and the Tanzania Mines, Energy, Construction and Allied Workers Union (Tamico). The workshop addressed HIV and AIDS related issues confronted by women at the workplace, most specifically gender based violence.

Sexual harassment and rape were discussed at length and the extent of these issues, in particular for young women from textile factories was uncovered.

“Women were encouraged during the workshop not to accept sexual harassment and rape and report any offence to their trade union representative at the plant should they fear management,” said the HIV and AIDS coordinator, Paule Ndessomin.

Ndessomin and Regional Officer, Thabo Tshabalala visited to A to Z Textile Ltd that employs mostly women workers. The average age of these workers is 23 and they come from villages, brought to work in the factories. They live in hostels within the factory compound. “Beside work, there are no other activities offered to the young workers”, says Ndessomin. “This could contribute to the high pregnancy rate among these women.”

A workshop was also conducted with 33 Masai women, all Tuico members, at the Maserani village to raise awareness on HIV, AIDS and gender-based violence including female genital mutilation.

This was a follow up visit after a workshop last year where Masai women requested training on HIV and AIDS issues. “There were open discussions on the practices of female genital mutilation,” says Ndessomin. “The Masai women complained about some aspects of their culture but agreed that it would take time for these practices and beliefs to disappear.”