In a bid to sensitize female entrepreneurs on their rights and duties in trading across borders, the Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce (TWCC) has embarked on a rights and training programme that would place them on scale in business.
The project known as “Enhancing women entrepreneur’s competitiveness and opportunities to benefit from regional and international trade” is intended to support Women in the Informal Cross Border Trade (WICBT) to meet market requirements. The TWCC is implementing this project with supervision from the Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO).
The programme will assist and provide the necessary support and guidance to women in business and advocate for favourable policies in which women entrepreneurs can flourish while empowering them to create wealth through: business diagnostics, capacity building, resource mobilization, institutional development, networking and advocacy.
The institution’s Board Chairman, Fatuma Riyami believes the best way to eradicate the shortcomings encountered by these female entrepreneurs is to educate the operators themselves and empower them to question any unfair treatment.
According to her, majority of female entrepreneurs engaging in cross border trade especially those in textile, handcraft making and food processing are unaware of their rights and therefore do not enjoy them and benefit from what they produce or manufacture.
Riyami argued that there is need to train them because women carry out the majority of the work force and produce most of the food consumed and businesses but they don’t benefit from it.
“Our focus on this programme was just to help women entrepreneurs in the informal cross border trade to become more aware of their rights, strengthen their socio-economic capability and status as well as help them meet market requirements,” she said.
The training will also empower women entrepreneur on essential knowledge of the human rights to which they are entitled, how to own the land, how to do business and benefit from it, and other issues.
About 98 cross border entrepreneurs engaged in handcraft making, textile sector and food processing have been trained on this programme with the support from UN women in collaboration with the Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO).
According ro a report, in Tanzania and other African countries, women face discrimination in many sectors in terms of land, business, education, employment and other factors relating to women activities and this continues to widen the gap between women and men. Training them on women’s rights will assist them to have better skills of their rights, they will manage to protect themselves against violence and to fight against women rights violations especially for the businesses they carry out in cross border trade.