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The Kwanini Foundation Welcomes our Gender Specialists

The Kwanini Foundation is proud to announce that as part of our funding from the USAID PROTECT (Promoting Tanzania’s Environment, Conservation and Tourism) Small Grants Programme, we have been able to engage two local Gender Specialists who will be working with us for the year.

During our discussions with the marine stakeholders in the last couple of years we have noticed that there are very few women represented on either the Fishermen’s Executive Committees or the Village Committees. We set ourselves the challenge of increasing women’s representation in marine affairs and this has been supported by USIAD through one part of our grant for ‘Building a long-term partnership for managing marine protected areas in Pemba’.

We held some interviews for the job of Gender Specialist in July and were so impressed by the quality of the applicants that we recruited not one but two ladies to carry out the work. Rabia and Aisha joined the team on the 1st August and have already developed their own engagement plan and questionnaire so they can carry out surveys amongst the women’s groups in the coming months. Its early days but we are really confident that we will get a much better understanding of how the women’s groups use the marine areas both within and outside the Kwanini Marine Conservation Area. We are trying to find out how much people rely on this area and what impact a closure would have on peoples’ livelihoods and income. In our opinion the ladies are equally as important as the men because they rely on the marine resources to grow seaweed and harvest seashells from the shore, and part of Rabia and Aisha’s role will include co-ordinating with the female fisherfolk who use the shallow reef flats extensively to cultivate these valuable seaweeds. Now for the first time the women of Pemba can have a real voice by engaging with our Gender Team and setting their own agenda. We will be publishing the results of our questionnaire on the website and this data will form a very important input to our detailed Marine Protected Area Management Plan which we will be developing over the next three months.

But we don’t want to stop there; we are currently recruiting our ranger team and have already identified one lady ranger and we are hoping for at least one more. Our goal is to raise sufficient funds to keep our wonderful ladies on the payroll past the end of the USAID funding so please keep visiting our website and donate what you can so that we can maintain our commitment to collecting robust data to use as a basis for decision making.

Welcome once again to Rabia and Aisha.
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