EFA Initiatives and the Barriers to Educating Girls and Young Women in Tanzania: A Rights-Based Approach

Eustella Peter Bhalalusesa


This paper adopts a rights-based approach to analysing the predicament which Tanzania has been facing in its effort to fulfil the international and national obligation to safeguard the universal right to education for its entire citizenry, particularly for girls and women.  The paper makes reference to various policy documents that directly and indirectly relate to the right to education-for-all in Tanzania and uses them as a framework for analysis. The main argument of this paper is that although Tanzania has signed and ratified international instruments on the right to education and translated them into the national constitution and internal education policies, much is still needed to be done. Currently girls’ and women’s right to education is still being inadequately addressed. While it is true that there has been no deliberate effort to deny women access to education, there certainly exist some structural problems as well as some prejudice resulting from the social, economic and cultural set-up of our communities, which continue to put girls and women at a disadvantage. Thus the government needs to create an enabling environment and demonstrate this in concrete activities before women and girls realise and enjoy their inalienable right to education.

Full Text:



Bhalalusesa, E.P (1993) “Factors Influencing Adult Learning in Literacy Classes in Tanzania. A case of study of Kibondo District”, M.A (ed.) Dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam.

Bhalalusesa, E.P. (2003) “East African Family Transformations: Tanzania Country Report”, Nairobi: Centre for African Family Studies

Carr-Hill, R.A Kweka, N.A, Chengelela,R. and Rusimbi, M. (1992) "The Functioning and Effects of the Tanzanian Literacy Programme”, IIEP Report No. 93, UNESCO, Paris.

Eide, A (1995) “Economic, Social and Cultural Rights” In Eide, A., Krause, K and Rosas A (eds.) (1995) Economic Social and Cultural Rights A Textbook, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Ibhawoh, B (1999) Between Culture and Constitution, The Cultural Legitimacy of Human Rights in Nigeria” A research report, Copenhagen, The Danish Centre for Human Rights.

Jamhuri ya Mwungano ya Tanzania (2008) Ripoti ya Maoni kuhusu mwanafunzi kupata mimba, nini kifanyike ili kupata haki yao ya kupata elimu, Dar es Salaam, Wizara ya Elimu na mafunzo ya Ufundi.

Kadege, N.P, Keregero, M. Mlekwa, V. and Mushi, P.A.K. (1992) "Peasants and Education" A case study of Literacy Environment in Rural Tanzania." A Report Commissioned by Ministry of Education and Culture, Dar es Salaam and SIDA, Stockholm.

Kuleana Centre for Children’s Right (1999) The State of Education in Tanzania, Crisis and opportunity, Dar es Salaam, Kuleana Centre for Children’s Right.

Limage, Leslie (1994) "Women's Literacy in World Perspective" In Convergence Volume XXVII, No. 2/3 pp.33-41.

Lind, Agneta J. A.(1986) Adult Literacy in the Third World : A Reviewing of Objectives and Strategies, Stockholm : SIDA Education Division Document no. 32.

Meena, R. (1995) “Situational Analysis of Education of Girls and Women in Tanzania” UTAFITI Journal Vol.3 No. 2, 1996 pp 39-90

Mundy, K (1994) "Towards a Critical Analysis of Literacy in Southern Africa" In Journal of Comparative Education Review pp 389-411.

Mushi, PAK and Bhalalusesa, E.P (2002) “Adult and Non-Formal Status Report”, A Research Report submitted to the Ministry of Education and Culture (Now Ministry of Education and Vocational Training) in Dar es Salaam.

Nowak, M (1995) “The Right to Education” In Eide, A., Krause, K and Rosas A (eds.) (1995) Economic Social and Cultural Rights A Textbook, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Sumra, S. (1995) “Enrolment Trends in education in Tanzania” Papers in Education and Development, No.16 pp 49-64

Swai, E.V (1999) “Women Educational Needs Analysis for Alternative approach to Adult Education in Tanzania” Unpublished MA (ed.) Dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam.

Torres, Carlos A. and Schugurensky Daniel (1994) “The Politics of Adult Education in Comparative Perspectives: Models, Rationalities and Adult Education Canada, Mexico and Tanzania” In Journal of Comparative Education Volume 30 NO. 2. PP 131-152.

UNESCO (1991) World Education Report, UNESCO Publications.

UNESCO, (1996) “Mid-Decade Review of Progress towards Education for All, Policy review seminars in Africa, 1996”, Paris: UNESCO Publications.

UNESCO (2008) EFA Global Monitoring Report 2008, Education For All Will we make it, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

United Republic of Tanzania (1998) The Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania of 1977, Dar es Salaam: M.P:P Printers.

United Republic of Tanzania (1992), The Tanzania Policy on Women in Development, Dar es Salaam: Ministry of Community Development, Women’s Affairs and Children.

United Republic of Tanzania (1978), The National Education Act, Dar es Salaam: Government Printers.

United Republic of Tanzania (2006) “Report on the Implementation of COBET Programme in Tanzania Mainland”, Dar es Salaam: MoEVT and PMO-RALG

United Republic of Tanzania (2008) Basic Education Statistics in Tanzania (BEST) 2004-2008 National Data, Dar es Salaam: Ministry of Education and Vocational training, Dar es Salaam

URT (2008) Adult Education Development Programme (AEDP) “Yes I Can” Literacy Development Project 2008-2009-2012-13), Dar es Salaam: Ministry of Education and Vocational Training.


  • There are currently no refbacks.