Legal Counseling and Advocacy Outreach
One of core initiatives of WEECE is legal counseling and advocacy. By discussing women’s rights and gender roles with both women and men, we are able to create mutual understanding thus to achieve equality and sustainability. Through this approach women are able to raise their voices and become more active in their local communities.
WEECE conducted seminars for the public on important domestic and international laws and legislation in order to educate both men and women including village leaders and elder clan leaders. A total of 2250 people have been reached through these educational seminars. Tanzanian marriage law, probate and inheritance laws (versus customary laws) as well as land laws regarding women’s entitlement of land occupancy were discussed in these seminars.
These seminars were embraced enthusiastically by their participants and led to some positive changes. Many women approached WEECE for individual counseling. By word-of-mouth recommendation some women outside the WEECE community also contacted us for counseling service. Gradually WEECE has earned a reputation as an advocate for women’s rights. WEECE staff are very proud of these achievements in empowering women.
WEECE also engages in lobbying efforts on behalf of communities in need. Within the political settings in Tanzania it is difficult for a small community deprived of appropriate education and financial systems to benefit from various programs supported by the government. With this understanding, WEECE lobbies on behalf of villages and communities for a fair chance to participate in programs supported by the government. For example, after two years of lobbying effort, funding for construction of a gravel road to Nganjoni was finally approved by the high commissioner of Kilimanjaro District.