SIGI Tanzania

On 7 March 2022, the OECD Development Centre and UN Women Tanzania launched the SIGI Country Report for Tanzania in Arusha, Tanzania, with the kind support of the Embassy of Ireland in Tanzania.

What are the underlying drivers of gender inequality in Tanzania? What policies, programmes and social shifts can enhance girls’ and women’s rights and well-being?

The report acts as a guide for policy makers to address the persistent obstacles that Tanzanian girls and women face in the form of discriminatory social norms and practices that deeply affect them.

Results show that discrimination in social institutions is higher in Zanzibar than in mainland Tanzania, as well as in rural areas compared to urban ones. Nevertheless, large variations exist across the country’s 31 regions, which calls for context-specific policy actions (see below map).


Main findings

The SIGI Country Report for Tanzania measures the root causes of gender-based discrimination which affect girls’ and women’s outcomes across all spheres of life, including employment, entrepreneurship, health and education.

Discriminatory social norms are at the heart of gender inequality, yet often remain invisible. If left unaddressed, no real and definitive progress in favour of equality between men and women will be made. The report highlights the need for a holistic approach in addressing discriminatory nocial norms, starting within the family sphere, and with women’s civil and economic liberties.

The report highlights some key challenges that Tanzanian women and girls face:

  • 16% of Tanzanian women aged between 20 and 24 years old are still married before they turn 18, despite a decline in the prevalence of child marriage. 19% of the population still consider child marriage appropriate.
  • Unequal intra-household dynamics persist: women spend on average 3 times more time on unpaid care and domestic tasks than men. As for decision-making, three-quarters of the population believes that men should have the final word on important decisions in the home.
  • More than half of all Tanzanian women have survived violence at some point in their lives, and a similar share of the population believes that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife in certain circumstances.
  • More than 2 million Tanzanian women report to have undergone female genital mutilation. Though the practice is progressively being abandoned, the prevalence rate exceeds 30% in certain parts of the country.
  • More than one-third of women of reproductive age have an unmet need for family planning, and 32% of the population does not support the idea that a woman should have the right to decide whether to use contraception.
  • Only 33% of women own agricultural land compared to 47% of men.
  • Half of Tanzania’s women do not feel safe when walking alone at night, while the vast majority of the population think that women should ask their husband or partner for permission if she wants to go to certain public places.

Click here for more key takeaways from the report – including key messages and infographics.

Key recommendations

The SIGI Country Report for Tanzania proposes four major recommendations to address discriminatory social institutions in a comprehensive manner. These should be taken into consideration for the development of the country’s policies and programmes:

  • Update laws and eliminate legal provisions that discriminate against women and girls, especially regarding access to agricultural land, inheritance, girl child marriage, violence against women and female genital mutilation.
  • Design, implement and support initiatives that seek to transform discriminatory social norms into gender-equitable norms. More specifically, recognise that the transformation of social norms takes time and consistent commitment, and requires prioritising multisectoral programmes alongside structural interventions, as well as engaging with all relevant stakeholders at all levels.
  • Integrate a gender perspective across all government ministries and sectors, including gender-responsive budgeting.
  • Continue investment in sex-disaggregated data collection to identify gender gaps and gain a better understanding of how social norms evolve.

In addition, the report calls for specific policy actions for the Government of Tanzania to address current gender gaps and inequalities. These are based on thematic SIGI analysis focusing on women’s economic empowerment, intra-household dynamics and women’s physical autonomy.

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