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CONVERSATION WITH MARY RUSIMBI

EMPOWERING THE WOMEN WE NEED FOR THE AFRICA WE ENVISION

AN INTERACTION WITH MARY RUSIMBI THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF WOMEN FUND TANZANIA

In order to create the Africa we envision, it is important that we curb all manner of inequality that exists in our community, even if these inequalities have been created as a result of our cultural heritage. The inclusion of women, should not be regarded as a by the way agenda, but as a building block required in the structural development of Africa’s foundation and future. Such an ambitious objective is one that Mary Rusimbi and the team at Women Fund Tanzania are trying to bring to life with every element of creativity and innovation that they uphold.

Women Fund Tanzania is a Tanzanian based civil society organization that exists to change the narrative of women and girls by supporting their ambition and initiatives that identify an undivided cause to changing the course of history in their community. “As an organization is our undivided priority to ensure that we provide training, incubate talent and provide every kind of technical support as need arises. As regards allocating our supporting we ensure that 60% is wholly dedicated to the women in the rural community while 40% is allocated to the national level,” Mary eloquently established during her conversation with APN.

APN IN COLLABORATION WITH URGENT ACTION FUND

The pandemic has had adverse effects on the world, but women have been overwhelmingly impacted. Over the last year, already existing structural inequalities that disproportionally affect women have been further entrenched within African communities. Interventions to mitigate the spread of the pandemic such as lockdowns resulted in the increase of womn’s care giving roles as they were forced to stay indoors. In some households, women became more prone to abuse from partners or other relations.

Governments’ focus on addressing the health aspect of the pandemic left the power structures that would leave womn’s daily lives adversely affected unaddressed. Conversely, feminist philanthropic institutions centred their efforts on mitigating the gaps caused by government interventions. Women’s funds and women’s right organizations have offered technical, solidarity and financial resources to address outcomes such as gender-based violence, mental health services for womn especially those with disabilities and the LBTQI, healing and wellbeing interventions, access to water and sanitation kits among others.

ISLAMIC WOMEN INFLUENCING THE PHILANTHROPY NARRATIVE

Every practicing Muslim is governed by the ‘Five Pillars of Islam’; Shahada (الشهادة‎‎) – the declaration of faith, Salat (صلاة‎) – prayer, Zakat (زكاة‎‎) – obligatory charity, Sawm (صوم) – fasting during the month of Ramadan (رمضان) and Hajj (حج) – pilgrimage to holy sites in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

 

Mrs. Zaria Adhiambo Omwayi is the byword of Islamic themes in acts of charity. She is the co-founder & current Executive Director of Villa Teag Children’s Home in Dandora slums, Nairobi. In 2003, Zaria together with her late professional comrade Raymond Mugabe Were embarked on an ardent journey to provide residential care to close to 100 children. After the tragic demise of Raymond in 2008, Zaria resolved to continue with the work despite the grief, a rough transition & falling out of donors & partners acquired through the late Raymond.

COVID-19 AND THE ROLE OF THE STATE IN PROTECTING WOMEN.

30th January 2020 marked the day, which brought the whole world at a greater tension when the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak as Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Since then there had been several events occurring which had vast and significant impact in the economic, political, social and cultural aspects all over the world.

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has hit people, countries and institutions differently and brought paradigm shifts in terms of the measures and policies that have been put forward by governments and other institutions aiming at prevention of the spread of the virus. While the significant population of the world has responded well to measures like staying home, some essential workers are left with no option but to serve their communities. Majority of these essential workers are women; in the US alone women makes two-thirds of the frontline workers.

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