Interview with Anna Henga, Programme Coordinator, Tanzanian Legal and Human Rights Centre
1. What are the major achievements of the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights coalition and why?
Over 2010, the major achievement was the regular engagement of the coalition through a number of meetings, development of a multi-sectoral approach to women’s rights advocacy and consistent feedback on the general progress of the coalition’s activities.
2. What could the coalition have done better over 2010?
We could have benefitted from visits to Tanzania by other coalition members
4. How do you see the mass mobilisation for democracy in North Africa affecting the way that you may work in future?
The mass mobilization in North Africa has had little impact on our activities since it has diverted people’s attention from gender issues to democratic governance issues. Because of this, gender-based projects have lost significant publicity, not only at the project level but even countrywide.
5. What major changes would you like to see take place in the way that the African Union relates to your organization and African Member States?
The AU and its member states should engage the representatives of vulnerable groups directly and seek help for women and the other marginalized groups. AU must also give special attention to maternal mortality and mobility while reducing its overconcentration on continental security.
6. What are the greatest obstacles to your focus over 2011 and how do you plan to combat them?
The greatest obstacles in our focus include bureaucratic procedures in Government which has made it difficult to set up meetings with the relevant ministries. In regard to this, we plan to take advantage of the monthly cabinet meetings to air our views. Another obstacle has been the slow pace of enactment of Tanzanian laws. We are therefore drafting an alternative bill (on Domestic violence law and Inheritance law) and holding meetings with like-minded lawmakers, persuading them to push the bill for enactment.
The Legal and Human Rights Centre of Tanzania is a member of the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights Coalition. For information on the continental coalition, go to http://www.soawr.org. More information about their important work can be found at [email protected]
This interview was collected by Andrew Osiany, Pan Africa Intern, Oxfam