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Article

2 Aug 2022

Author:
Hibist Kassa, in AlterNet

Tanzania: How women are overcoming gender discrimination as they defend their land rights against corporations

"How Tanzanian women are fighting corporations for their land rights"

In Mwanza, Tanzania, Nairukoki Leyian-Naisinyai tells me that here, “Corporations come with papers from the government claiming that they have the right to our land.” She points to the large corporations that have entered the lands of the Maasai people to mine rubies and tanzanite. The Maasai can neither assert their rights to the land nor benefit from the mining of these precious resources...

Joyce Ndakaru....[narrates] about the experience of being a Maasai woman in a deeply patriarchal society: “Maasai women are born, grow and live in a community where men make decisions [about] everything, including those… [related to] women’s needs.” Ndakaru makes it clear that Maasai women are not treated as equal to the men in their community, but are instead infantilized and are seen as sources of free labor. Ndakaru says, “Women are labeled as property, [childlike] and ignorant; hence, their participation in decision-making is very low.”