WOMEN have been urged to stop complaining and support collective power to bring to an end any kind of oppressive system instead of leaving it to activists as if they are the only ones affected.
Speaking at the opening session of a Gender Festival in Dar es Salaam, Chairperson of the Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP), Ms Mary Rusimbi, said most women were good at complaining as if the liberation movement did not concern them.
“In our network there are different needs but we need combined power to fight instead of seating behind waiting for other people to fight for women, we are the ones to bring change,” she said.
Ms Rusimbi further said that there were challenges in the policy context, cultural and political authoritarianism which grew very fast and promoted free-market ideology which keeps giving a hard time to activists.
According to Ms Rusimbi, the policy context was among the problems which led to some of the community ending up fighting themselves and forgetting to focus on fighting for their liberation, especially of women.
She added that poverty was another challenge which led to most of the marginalized societies failing to recognize the available opportunities and forgetting to fight for equal rights.
Expounding further, she said the most important thing was for organisations to join efforts to end oppressive systems and make sure that the voice of the voiceless was heard, especially at various national discussions.
TGNP principal policy analyst, Prof Marjorie Mbilinyi, said there was drastic deterioration of the concept of accountability and some essential services for the community.
“Oppressive systems still exist, so the general public has a duty to gather strength to bring them to an end for the benefit of the society,” said Prof Mbilinyi.
She said women were still oppressed, especially those from marginalized societies; hence there was need to keep on educating them so they could get involved and fight for equal rights.
TGNP is a non-governmental organisation which advocates a transformed Tanzanian society where there are women’s rights, gender equality and social justice.
Its overall objective is to build a transformative feminist social movement that is grounded in grassroots activism and capable of engaging, challenging and claiming changes in policies, institutional structures and processes at all levels.