International Women’s Day 2016: Planet 50-50 by 2030

Mar 8, 2016

A group of women workers in Tanzania where gender empowerment has continued to grow by leaps and abounds however challenges remain including in employment

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate progress toward ensuring the rights and opportunities of women and girls, and to renew and reinvigorate commitments to achieve gender equality.

Last year the world took an important step to move forward on gender equality. The General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with a stand-alone goal on gender equality and a clear focus on gender concerns across all other goals. This reflects the growing consensus that gender equality is not only an important goal in itself, but also a necessary driver of socio-economic transformation and the foundation for a peaceful and inclusive world.

In Tanzania, we can see progress as well as challenges toward achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment. Gender parity in primary education has been achieved, but completion and literacy rates as well as enrollment in higher learning institutions continue to be lower for women than for men. Tanzania is among the global leaders in terms of female representation at the parliamentary level with 36,9% female members of parliament after the 2015 elections. At the same time, the representation of female decision makers at the regional and district level remains low.

Policies and action plans are in place to promote equal access to employment for men and women, but the unemployment rate is still higher among women at 12.3% compared to 8.5% for men; women generally earn less than men; and Tanzanian women spend on average 4 times as much time on unpaid care work as men, depriving them of time for valuable pursuits like generating an income, gaining new skills, and participating in public life.

Addressing existing gender inequalities and discrimination against women is imperative to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and national priorities as outlined in the Tanzania Development Vision 2025. That is why the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality.

Getting to planet 50-50 requires strong commitment and concerted effort by the government, civil society, private sector, and development partners, and early involvement of men as agents of change for the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Recognizing this, UNDP stays committed to support Tanzania to make sustainable development a reality and to leave no woman or girl behind. 

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