Illiteracy and women empowerment in Tunduru district in Tanzania.

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study investigated the prevalence of illiteracy and its implication on women empowerment in Tunduru District in Tanzania. The specific objectives were to: explore the cause for the persistence of illiteracy among women; examine the role of adult literacy in promoting women empowerment; and, identify strategies for addressing the problem of illiteracy among women. The study employed qualitative research approach with aid of case study research design. Participants were selected by using purposive and snowballing sampling techniques, while the data were collected through interviews, focus group discussions (FGDs) and the documentary reviews. In this study, forty-two participants were involved, and these were: District Education Officer, District Adult Education Officer, five Ward Education Coordinators, five Head teachers, twenty-five Women and five Men. The Content analysis technique was used to analyse data gathered for this study. The findings of the study revealed that persistence of illiteracy among women in Tunduru district was mainly contributed by lack of political will; extreme overloading of women day-to-day activities, and poverty. The study also found that women would be empowered only if literacy programmes were improved. In this way, the impact would be to enable women to master literacy skills; and, thus, empowering them as agents of change as they would participate in decision making, while accessing key information, small credits, and get involved in income generation activities, practising good nutrition and strengthen the family planning.The study also found that recruitment of literacy facilitator, provision of incentives in literacy programmes and, more importantly, the increasing community awareness on the benefit of literacy could encourage women in registering and attending literacy programmes. However, the study observed that there are factors that perpetuate the persistence of women illiterate and these factors were such as: socio-cultural beliefs, male child preference, early marriage, initiation rites and family responsibilities. It was also observed that a combination of attitudinal socio- cultural economic and political factors has contributed in restricting women from acquiring competences in literacy in the studied area. The study, thus, recommends the following to the government: allocation of adequate budget for adult education sector in order to enhance effective implementation of adult education programmes including literacy; the government to ensure relevance of programmes to women’s learning and ambitions. In this regard, members of the society should make-up their minds and encourage women to participate in literacy and adult education programmes.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF HQ1240.5.T34K383)
Women in development, Women empowerment, Illiteracy, Tunduru district, Tanzania
Kasembe, A. H. (2018). Illiteracy and women empowerment in Tunduru district in Tanzania. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.