High-Level Dialogue on the Role of Tanzanian Women in Peace and Security Operations

Tanzania certainly has a lot to offer in the area of women and peace and security having been a stable and peaceful country since it's independence in 1961.

• Honorable Ummy Ally Mwalimu, the Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children;

• Honorable Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe, the Minister of Information, Sports and Culture;

• Her Excellency, Pamela O’Donnell, the High Commissioner of the Embassy of Canada;

• Her Excellency, Elisabeth Jacobsen, the Ambassador of the Royal Norwegian Embassy;

• Dr. Faraji Mnyepe, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defense and National Services;

• Professor Ikaweba Bunting, the Director for the Unity program at the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation;

• Other Representatives of Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation here present;

• Community Leaders,

• Members of the Media,

• Invited Guests,

• Mabibi na Mabwana,

Habari za Asubuhi na Asalaam Aleikhum!

It is my pleasure to be here with you today at this important dialogue on the Role of Tanzanian Women in Peace and Security. 

Today’s dialogue is among the activities that have been taking place over the last several weeks, as part of International Women’s Day commemorations. Under the national theme of ‘Equality Generation for the current and Future Development’, these activities are bringing together a wide variety of stakeholders to reflect on the fundamental role women play in Tanzania’s developing economy and how to further empower them and enhance their participation.

I commend and thank the Government, the Canadian Embassy, UN Women and the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation for organizing this dialogue it offers the opportunity for us to reflect on the important contributions that women have made in the area of Peace and Security.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Women, Peace and Security agenda is one of the top priorities of the United Nations as a whole. We see this in the adoption of a great many resolutions by the Security Council, including the landmark Security Council Resolution 1325.

Resolution 1325 was the first formal and legal document from the Security Council that required parties in a conflict to prevent violations of women's rights, to support women's participation in peace negotiations and post-conflict reconstruction, and to protect women and girls from wartime sexual violence.

There is a global recognition of the central role that women must play in preventing and resolving conflicts. However, it has been nearly two decades since Resolution 1325 was adopted and women still face exclusion from so many peace and political processes.

According to the Peace Agreements database, less than 20 per cent of peace agreements made in the last 30 years included provisions addressing women, girls, or gender.

Women still make up only 4.2 per cent of military personnel in United Nations peacekeeping missions; Between 2016 and 2017, only 0.2 per cent of bilateral aid to fragile and conflict-affected situations went to women’s organizations. 

These and other statistics that were outlined in the 2019 Report of the UN Secretary-General on Women and Peace and Security underline that despite many good words, agreements, discussions and events change is not happening fast enough.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The correlation between gender inequality and a society’s propensity for civil or interstate conflict is now well established. The link between the participation of women and more durable peace has also been established. 

Having worked in several countries experiencing conflict, most recently Afghanistan, I can personally attest to this link.

So, we know that women’s involvement in these processes is in our best interest and yet we still live in a world that tolerates and excuses women’s continued exclusion from peace and political processes and institutions.

Ladies and gentlemen,

At the global level, the UN, led by the Secretary-General, is taking steps to promote women in peace and security. We have put in place frameworks for taking action and monitoring results at the national and regional levels. We have also positioned women and peace and security within ongoing United Nations Reform streams this includes increasing accountability and expertise for the integration of gender perspectives into peace and security measures.

As the United Nations in Tanzania, we are assessing, on an annual basis, gender mainstreaming practices in programming and operations for the entire UN Country Team, to ensure accountability for the implementation of gender equality processes.

I am delighted that UN Women and the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation have embarked on a partnership to collect views and identify women in peace and security priorities in the lead-up to the creation of National Action Plan on Resolution 1325.

Let me take this opportunity to commend the Government and all stakeholders for committing to formulating the action plan which will support the translation of the resolution into national policies and programs and strengthen Tanzania’s position as a leading proponent for peace and equality in Africa.

I would also like to thank the Government for providing thousands of UN Peacekeepers, including women, to various countries in conflict across the world. In 2019 alone, over 2,300 peacekeepers were deployed, out of which 184 were women.

Tanzania certainly has a lot to offer in the area of women and peace and security having been a stable and peaceful country since it gained independence in 1961.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me reaffirm the United Nations’ commitment to supporting government programs that are driving the gender equality and women’s empowerment agenda. I am happy to say that all of the areas that UN Agencies are working in through the United Nations Development Assistance Plan (UNDAP II) are in tandem with government’s priority areas and in line with the underlying principle of the SDGs which is ‘leaving no-one behind’.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As it was mentioned earlier, this year marks five years since we launched the SDGs and the UN Secretary-General has called for a decade of action to deliver against them.

By 2030, we should live in a world where women and girls live free from violence and are equally represented in political and economic decision-making processes.

By 2030, we need to live in a world where women and girls are equally represented in peace and security.

Let us all intensify our efforts to ensure that we achieve these targets by 2030.

I now declare this dialogue officially open!

Asanteni sana!


UN entities involved in this initiative
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
United Nations