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The United Republic of Tanzania, known as Tanzania, is one of the three Voice focus countries in East Africa. Situated within the African Great Lakes region, it is being surrounded by eight countries. Tanzania has a diverse population, comprising several ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups.
Civicus Monitor identifies Tanzania as having an obstructed civic space. The state limits Tanzanians’ freedom of speech, association, and assembly in a manner not witnessed in other places. This led to collaborations and new opportunities for Civil Society Organisations to push for change. The fear of reprisal from the government affected the mainstream CSOs in including some of the most marginalised groups in their advocacy, particularly the LGBTI organisations.
Status Quo of Voice Target Groups
The Context Analysis examines the exclusion faced by the Voice target groups, along with intersecting issues that emerged.
People living with disabilities experience restraints in the workplace, physical access to infrastructures, and employment opportunities. There are persons with disabilities in public offices but they are primarily found in urban cities. PWDs in rural areas are still invisible. It is noteworthy that PWDs continuously face stigma where their disability is perceived as abomination. The infant mortality of children living with disabilities are increasing and are denied of basic access to health and education services.
The social and political attitude of Tanzania are hostile towards the Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders, and Intersex (LGBTI) people. Sexual minorities face rampant discrimination and exclusion which limits their access to basic social services such as healthcare, housing, employment, and access to justice. In Tanzania, consensual same-sex practices are criminalised especially among men.
LGBTI activists are highly stigmatised and are called demeaning names. Many have been assaulted by law enforcement agencies, detained for a long period, and denied bail. Existing policies criminalises homosexuality, there is no recognition of people who identified themselves as transgender or intersex which furthers the marginalisation towards them. The focus has been on gay men and limited attention to the other members of the Community.
Tanzanian women continue to face exploitation, abuse, and/or violence. Women are still bound by heteronormative roles in the household. Perilous practices and customs such as female genital mutilation and child marriage are still prevalent to women.
Women comprise a huge part of the poverty rates of Tanzania, and their economic conditions didn’t improve to protect them from exploitation. They also have limited opportunities to own properties such as lands without a male counterpart.
With regard to age-discriminated vulnerable groups, elderly people are vulnerable than the rest of the population. They are also prone to disability. Politically, they are represented through elderly people’s councils across the country. The councils aided in creating policy reforms for elderly’s free healthcare services. On the contrary, cases of elderly people in villages and rural areas were killed, being accused of witchcraft.
In terms of youth, they have limited access to economic opportunities. They are mostly engaged in petty trade, transportation, and in the hospitality industry in urban areas. As they migrate from rural to urban areas, the youth are prone to trafficking and exploitation. They are also at-risk of STDs and HIV infection which creates another layer of stigma towards them.
To date, Tanzania holds one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world. This phenomenon has not been fully addressed. There are also no political structures that allow for their participation in the decision-making leg of the government.
Tanzania has a flourishing number of indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities. However, incidents of violence towards indigenous people are propagating in the country. They lack access to education which delimits their political participation. They continuously fight for their ancestral domains.
The link takes you to the summary context analysis of Tanzania.
Hivos, coordinating Voice in Tanzania strives to give all people the opportunity to have a say in policies that help shape their lives and unleash their potential.
As a result of the context analysis and the regional Hivos strategy, Voice in Tanzania prioritises four target groups mentioned below. In addition Voice recognises that between and within the marginalised communities in the country, the people being most excluded are those facing overlapping, intersecting vulnerabilities.
- People living with disabilities
- Indigenous groups and ethnic minorities
- Women facing exploitation, abuse and/or violence
- Age discriminated vulnerable groups notably the young and elderly
Organisations proposing to work with two or more of the target groups are particularly encouraged to apply as the community of stakeholders recognised a prevalence of overlapping vulnerabilities between and within each of the groups.
Projects funded by Voice will need to address one or more of the impact themes:
- improving access to (productive) resources (finance, land and water) and employment
- improving access to social services, health and education in particular
- fostering space for political participation
In 2018 the context analysis will be updated, taking into account the changing context as well as existing portfolio of projects and grantees.
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