These non-governmental organizations have been working to provide education and awareness in various ways on the rights of women in Tanzania (Mainland and Zanzibar). And have been struggling hard to assist women for their rights before the courts of law and outside the courts as well as to protect women from harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation. Women Rights includes Right to inheritance and land rights, and Rights to participate in decision making.
Historically, the struggle for equality between men and women began a long time ago. The adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948 was as a step taken by the international community to ensure the protection of the rights of all human beings, regardless of their gender and status in the society. Article 2 of UDHR states that: “Everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or another opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or another status.”
At the Africa level, there is the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, 2003, which contains women’s rights. There is also the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development, 2009 and the East African Community initiative called the East African Strategic Plan for Gender, Youth, Children, Social Protection and Community Development, 2011-2015. The Protocol and Strategic Plan provide for women’s rights on a gender perspective. However, it was not until the adoption of the UN Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1980 that the concept of equality between women and men gained significant momentum and put seriously into practice. CEDAW has been one of the most prominent international human rights instruments in the protection of women’s human rights, elevating the status of women to that of men in the area of human rights. States Parties to CEDAW recognize that that, the “full and complete development of a country, the welfare of the world,
Domestically, the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977 (CURT) provides for equality of all human beings. Article 12(1) of CURT provides that: “All human beings are born free, and are all equal.”