A staff audit conducted within the East African Community (EAC) in 2018 revealed “huge gender gaps” in the institutions of the regional socio-econo-political integration bloc. The gaps were especially more conspicuous at different managerial levels within the regional integration body, indicating that there were fewer women than men in senior managerial positions.
This rather unfortunate situation was revealed by the secretary General of the Arusha-based EAC Secretariat, Mr Liberat Mfumukeko, last Friday.
That was when he was leading the six-nation EAC in marking International Women’s Day (IWD), which is globally celebrated on March 8 of each succeeding year, dedicated to improving the welfare of women in general. In the event, the Secretariat vowed to serve as a platform for dialogue on EAC’s commitment to promoting women in leadership positions.
To that very noble end – and, recognising that there were gender disparities which needed sorting out – the EAC Secretariat launched a special Gender Policy on September 17, 2018 which seeks an inclusive community that guarantees equal rights and opportunities for women and men within the entire EAC structure.
The EAC Gender Policy is designed and intended to provide guidance on institutionalising gender strategies within the EAC integration processes, in addition to ensuring that the rights of women and men are promoted, achieved and protected on an equal basis.
The policy further aims at strengthening the mainstreaming of gender concerns in the planning and budgetary processes of all sectors in the EAC organs, institutions – and partner states.
The partner states committed themselves in Article 6(d) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC to adhere to the principles of Gender Equality, etc.
In that regard, we unhesitatingly urge the EAC Secretariat to ramp up its efforts at achieving equal rights and opportunities for women (vis-à-vis men) in all EAC organs, institutions and partner states.
RESTORE ORDER IN URBAN AREAS
The demolition of stalls erected by vendors at the junction of Morogoro, Nelson Mandela and Sam Nujoma roads in Ubungo, Dar es Salaam, earlier this week came as a surprise to many given that petty traders have for a number of years now been left to their own devices.
The situation was such that unsightly stalls lined up the entire length of the perimeter wall around the Songas gas-fired power station, not to mention the Ubungo substation across the road. Petty traders had also hijacked the pedestrian lane between the junction and the former Ubungo Bus Terminal.
In short, the area was the epitome of chaos and a classic case of everything that has gone wrong as far as enforcement of the relevant bylaws is concerned. The concerned authorities – apparently driven by political expediency – have in recent years been looking the other way as areas under their jurisdiction went to the dogs.
In Dar es Salaam it is now not uncommon to see petty traders peddling their merchandise right at the edges of busy roads, leading to littering and unnecessary congestion. They somehow seem to think that they are untouchable.
Nobody is against anybody making a living, but livelihoods must conform to the rules we have set for ourselves that are meant to maintain order in urban areas.