Equality for Growth (EfG) Success Stories from Informal Sector Traders
The past 12 years of working with informal sector actors, Equality for Growth (EfG) has continued to provide women with access to rights and business knowledge, opportunities, resources, and legal justice. Through utilizing an approach of collaboration, we have worked in partnership with our beneficiaries to empower them in raising their voices and awareness of their agendas.
EfG have trained women market traders to be paralegals and legal community supporters who have been working on preventing and handling Gender Based Violence in marketplaces and deliver free legal aid and support to market traders, through this platform they have been able to reach 10,360 market traders, handled over 630 cases for the past 3 years.
The following are the individual inspirational stories of women market traders who have benefited from EfG programs:
- My inspiration was to serve my fellow Women market traders and the Community.
Johanitha Katunzi aged 44 years old, a Legal Community Supporter from Temeke Stereo market, a mother of three children and form four leaver in 1994. She was born in Muleba district of Kagera region (Lake Zone region) of Tanzania. She has been in business for 16 years now as her first business site was at Gezaulole market in Ilala district Dar es Salaam. She then engaged mobile business around the country. In 2013 she settled at Temeke Stereo market where she is settled now.
Photo 1: Ms. Johanitha Katunzi in her business at Temeke Stereo Market (Source EfG 2020)
Her inspiration to serve women and community in general started when she acquired skills on Preventing Gender Based Violence from Equality for Growth (EfG) as she became a paralegal. She also faced some challenges as she failed to progress with higher education simply, she is a woman and thus she was denied pursuing her further studies while her two brothers were granted the opportunity to progress with studies. ‘’She is saying that ‘’after missing out the chance to progress with studies which she says that was gender biased, it made her stand up to spearhead the rights of all women and girls to secure their right to education as human being. This knowledge enables her to reach women, girls, boys, and men who are business traders in Temeke Stereo market. She is now dealing with Gender Based Violence (GBV) incidences, raising their awareness on GBV, Women’s rights and referring cases of victims and survivors of GBV to different authorities.
For the year 2021, she has now managed to reach more than 280 market traders around the marketplace in Temeke Stereo with education awareness session on GBV, Human rights and women rights. Also, she has managed to assist 35 cases. She also managed to refer 10 victims of GBV cases to Market Leaders and Police Gender and Children desk. She has been focal point for many victims and survivors of GBV in Temeke Stereo market.
Photo 2: Ms.Johanitha Katunzi while conduct session for GBV awareness to women association at Temeke market (Source EfG 2020)
She is recommending the expansion of the project in other areas especially to the underserved communities because they are many women who are facing different forms of violence and they have nowhere to go to seek for the services, support, and assistance. Her vision is to see all women regardless of their social and economic background are fully respected, are aware of their rights and are free from all forms of violence.
- Through Legal Community Supporter a woman meets her daughter after sixteen years of separation
A Legal Community Supporter (LCS) from Tabata Muslim market managed to help victim of Violence against Women who was denied meeting her daughter by her former partner for about 16 years. She managed to do this by being very courageous with the desire to serve other fellow women and community at large.
She then confronted the man courageously, knowing he was even not ready to meet his former partner. At the beginning the man refused to talk to her and she was not relieved from the acts of that man until she managed to convince the man not to commit violence against her and now, he has changed a lot. Eventually the man agreed to change and allow her former partner to meet with her and later her daughter. Since the beginning of 2020 her daughter has started to meet her mother and the mother is happy with this. The woman thanks and appreciate much the LCS and EfG for assistance they give in a way that she has been able to secure her right.
- A Woman managed to secure business stall in the market after being economically violated.
Market committee in collaboration with Legal Community Supporters managed to reconcile long term matrimonial conflict between couple whereby a woman was denied doing business in the market by her husband. Before husband and wife were doing business together for about ten years and were living in a good terms and relation. But then their conflict emerged between them and eventually a husband was first denied providing care and support to his family for four years now and a husband is living with another woman and abandoned his family.
The man eventually went further to stop her wife to do business in the market. After LCS to get this case, they convened meeting with market committee they managed to make sure that the victim is getting her right of doing business in the market by giving other stall and she is now comfortable doing business and earn for her life.
- Without support from Legal Community Supporter, I could be living in streets
Mwanaheri is a women’s market trader from Nzovwe Market, who has been divorced and abandoned by her husband. Before, Mwanaheri was living in Dar es Salaam region with her husband and children. Later her husband was transferred to Mbeya region to work where, Mwanaheri her husband and the children moved together to Mbeya. For two years at Mbeya Mwanaheri and her husband lived a happy family but later her husband changed and stopped caring for the family as it was experienced. The husband stopped coming home completely without informing the family where he is living.
Life became very difficult for Mwanaheri because she depended on her husband for everything. She later came to find out her husband married another woman, and he wants to divorce her. Mwanaheri was given Islamic divorce and commanded not to disturb the husband. She opened a case to the Primary court asking the court to command the man to help on raising the Children. The case was attended at the Primary court and later she was told that she will be supported by the man, but she should be taking the money from the court secretary and not directly from the man and that Islamic divorce cannot be interfered by the court. Later, Mwanaheri decided to ask for legal consultation from Equality for Growth, Legal Community Supporters. They consulted her to appeal so that she can get a share of the properties she earned with the man. Mwanaheri decided to act seriously as she was advised to claim the division of the matrimonial properties.
Mwanaheri now has been given a plot of land and other Properties that they acquired together with the husband. She is very thankful for the support from EfG. Mwanaheri was quoted saying “Many people are deeply hurt and lost their right because of ignorance of the law. I’m requesting for the EfG to keep providing legal aid and Consultations to women so that we understand our basic rights in the community”.