Envaya

Request Funding for Studies of Leadership and Decision Strategies in Response to the COVID 19 Outbreak: A Case Study of Tanzania

Location: Kihesa CCDO Head Offices, Iringa Town, Iringa Region-Tanzania.

Focus Study Area: Iringa and Dar es Salaam Regions

Account Name: CCDO, Account No: 01J1023036400 CRDB BANK.

Contact Persons:

1)      Majaliwa Mbogella – Chairperson, P.O.Box 1751 Kihesa-Iringa, Tanzania. Email: childrencareorg1@gmail.com or Lmayova@ymail.com

2)      Principal Researcher – Dr. Oscar Garbon, P.O.Box 1751 Kihesa-Iringa, Tanzania. East Africa. Email: childrencareorg1@gmail.com , www.ccdo-tanzania.org, www.envaya.org/ccdo

3)      Project Manager – Dr. Beatrice Mosha, P.O.Box 1751 Kihesa-Iringa, Tanzania. Email: childrencareorg1@gmail.com

 

Duration: 2 Years

Requested Funds: 139771$ (USD)

 

1.0 INTRODUCTION

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Children Care Development Organization (CCDO) in Tanzania is planning research projects to provide the evidence needed to inform the African Academy of Social Sciences work in the studies of leadership and decision strategies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with special focus on the impact on women in Tanzania. This application describes the background of the study, statement of the problem, research questions study, objectives of the study, purpose of the study, research questions, empirical studies, literature review, situation of analysis, situation of analysis based on the proposed research proposal in this application, research methodology, data collection methods and data analysis. This research proposal is aimed at studying of leadership and decision strategies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Tanzania particularly in Iringa and Dar es Salaam regions of Tanzania. The research conducted by CCDO aims to support policy makers wishing to assess leadership and decision making strategies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and evaluate how gender sensitive these responses, assess current practices and policies, identify possible areas for reform, plan for change, and establish mechanisms to monitor progress and evaluate impact.

While in times of pandemic, women and men are affected differently. Failing to take recognize gendered dimensions of the emergency response will exacerbate existing and persisting inequalities and create new ones. This could amplify the crisis and increase its current and future impact for women and girls, and for society as a whole. The Ebola outbreak from 2013 to 2016 and the Zika outbreak in 2015 and 2016 had extensive impacts on women’s lives, in their roles as care providers, family heads, etc; these costs were further amplified as a result of the redeployment of resources away from women’s reproductive health and this sector of the community had limited to no say in policy response.

Twenty-five years after the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action, gender equality, the progress made in terms of women’s afford setbacks and should not become victims of COVID-19. On the contrary, the response to COVID-19 cannot be deemed efficient and sustainable if it is not built on gender-responsive decisions and actions.

1.1  Background

GENEVA (22 April, 2020) – The UN Women’s rights committee calls on governments and multilateral institutions to ensure women’s equal representation in formulating responses to COVID-19 and strategies to recover from the crisis. The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) has issued detailed guidance on a range of measures that governments should take to uphold women’s rights as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance emphasizes that COVID-19 response and post-crisis recovery plans should promote women’s economic empowerment and address gender inequalities in employment and social protection systems. Moreover, governments must ensure women’s equal and meaningful participation in the formulation of such plans and in decision-making. Other measures in the guidance include addressing women’s increased health risks as primary caregivers for children and sick family members by ensuring early detection and treatment of COVID-19; providing confidential access to sexual and reproductive health services through easy-to-access procedures such as online prescriptions for contraceptives; ensuring continuous education through accessible educational tools; and facilitating access to protection orders and safe shelters for women and girls who are victims or at risk of gender-based violence.

Gbedemah, (2020) of the United Nations Human Rights argued that “we welcome the leadership shown by many women leaders in the present crisis in ensuring effective measures to protect their populations, the Committee would like to hear more women’s voices in rebuilding the economy and society after the pandemic, because of pre-existing gender inequalities and deep-rooted discrimination, the consequences of the current crisis have affected women in a disproportionate manner, while at the same time placing increased responsibilities on women’s shoulders at home, in the health workforce and in other sectors,”. He added that “media reports have shown that incidents of gender-based violence against women and girls have risen due to domestic tensions resulting from confinement, pressure of home schooling and job losses.” The Committee also fears that the restrictive measures can lead to compounded and multiple discrimination against women belonging to disadvantaged and marginalized groups.

While in times of crisis, violence against women and girls increases (Womankind Worldwide (2020). Women are hit harder by economic fallout. Women are placed at increased risk of infection, making up 70% of the global health workforce. No country is immune or unaffected by the ‘shadow pandemic’, the violence and abuse against women and girls that is heightened by security, health and money concerns and worsened by lockdown measures. Police reports from China show that domestic violence tripled during the epidemic there. According to the United Nations Population Fund, every three months of lockdown could result in 15 million more cases of domestic violence than would typically be expected.

Women are bearing the brunt of the economic fallout of the current COVID-19 crisis. As schools and childcare facilities close and health systems are overloaded, care for children and sick relatives largely falls to women who already perform over three quarters of unpaid care and domestic work. Outside of times of crises, this vastly impacts women’s ability to engage in paid work and in times like these, women are often faced with unfair and sometimes impossible choices of giving up paid work to care for children, older people, the sick or people with disabilities. The gender pay gap further compounds the inequality, making it harder for women to meet families’ basic needs.

Women are also more likely to be in precarious and low paid work, providing critical services with no secure income or social protections, such as street vendors or domestic workers. For example, 80% of women across Tanzania rely on day-to-day informal labour to support their families. There is serious concern that these women cannot survive sustained lockdown measures with no savings, resources or land to support them. Lockdown measures threaten not just the income and livelihoods of these women but their very survival (Ibid).

COVID-19 is exasperating existing inequalities and impacting the most marginalized the hardest. For the three billion people in the world without access to running water such as those in the Global South or Indigenous communities, the hand washing advice is seen as a conversation among the privileged. Access to reliable and accessible information itself is not equal, especially for people with disabilities, illiterate people, and people living in rural areas. For example, Womankind partner National Union of Women with Disabilities of Uganda (NUWODU) report that government directives and guidelines are neither inclusive nor considerate of people with disabilities and there have been cases of those with disabilities having been penalized for not adhering to public health restrictions.

Under international human rights law, governments have an obligation to protect the right to freedom of expression, including the right to seek, receive, and impart information of all kinds, regardless of frontiers. Permissible restrictions on freedom of expression for reasons of public health, noted above, may not put in jeopardy the right itself. Governments are responsible for providing information necessary for the protection and promotion of rights, including the right to health. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights regards as a “core obligation” providing “education and access to information concerning the main health problems in the community, including methods of preventing and controlling them.” A rights-respecting response to COVID-19 needs to ensure that accurate and up-to-date information about the virus, access to services, service disruptions, and other aspects of the response to the outbreak is readily available and accessible to all.

1.1.0. Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this study shall investigate the factors that affecting women’s participation in leadership and decision strategies in response to the COVID pandemic in Tanzania. Specifically, the study aims at:

  1. Assessing the factors that affect women’s participation in parliamentary decision making on response to the COVID-19 in Tanzania.
  2. Establishing the positions women occupy at all levels in the crisis and decision making committees, units or task forces put in place in parliament.
  3. Suggest possible strategies that can enhance women’s equal access and full participation in leadership power structures and decision-making.
  4. Examine the structures and processes which reinforce the subordinate positions of women in leadership and decision strategies consideration /dispensation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

1.1.1. Research Questions

The proposed study seeks to answer the following questions.

  1. Are both women and men participating in parliamentary decision-making on COVID19?
  2. Are there women participating at all levels in the crisis and decision-making committees, units and/or task forces put in place in parliament?
  3. Do parliamentary committees have a gender equality mandate?
  4. If laws are adopted by parliament to allow the government to take measures to mitigate COVID-19 for people and the economy, do those laws include a call and provisions to ensure that mitigation measures are gender-responsive?
  5. Are women who are caring for the ill and providing other essential services being recognized for their role and fairly compensated, supported and equipped with protective equipment?
  6. Are there strong policies and codes of conduct in place to address the endemic violence against female health workers and sexual harassment in the health and social sectors?
  7. How can MPs reach out to constituents while promoting gender equality and gender responsiveness?
  8. Are media and other communication platforms being used to reach out to constituents to inform them of measures taken to respond to the COVID-19 crisis? Are such initiatives ensuring exchanges with constituents on their experiences and needs, including the specific needs of women and girls?
  9. Are MPs and staff supported in juggling their work and household or family duties, without undue burden related to gendered roles, including by allowing teleworking with flexible hours for both men and women and granting paid leave to both men and women staff who no longer have access to childcare?

1.1.2 Problem Statements

Globally, women make up just 23.3% of parliamentarians. (Inter-Parliamentary Union, 2017), in January 2017, there were 10 women serving as Head of State and 9 as Head of Government. (UN Women calculation based on information provided to Permanent Missions to the United Nations,2020), in June 2016, there were 38 countries in which women make up less than 10% of parliamentarians in single or lower houses, including 4 countries with no women at all in both chambers. (Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN Women, 2016), in January 2015, only 17% of government ministers globally were women. (Inter-Parliamentary Union, 2015), in June 2016, only two countries have 50% or more women in parliament in single or lower houses. 46 single or lower houses were composed of more than 30% women, including 14 in Sub-Saharan Africa and 11 in Latin America. Out of these 46 countries, 40 had applied some form of quotas (Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN Women, 2016).

Violence against women and girls is a global issue with 1 in 3 women across the world experiencing violence (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, 2013). Statistics show that the abuser is usually someone the woman knows: 38% of all murdered women are killed by their partner. (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, 2013), of all women killed globally in 2012, it is estimated that almost half were killed by a partner or relative compared to less than 6% of men (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2014). The vast majority of women across the globe have experienced violence on the streets of their cities with 89% of women in Brazil, 86% in Thailand and 79% in India reporting harassment and abuse (Action Aid, 2016). Moreover, only 18 out of 173 countries have specific legislation addressing sexual harassment in public places (World Bank, 2016). Over 700 million women alive today were married when they were under 18, and of those some 250 million were married before they were 15 (UNICEF, 2014). Around 1 in 10 (120 million) girls worldwide have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives (UNICEF, 2014). At least 200 million girls and women alive today living in 30 countries have undergone female genital mutilation (UNICEF, 2016). A European Union survey showed that 34% of women with a health problem or disability had experienced violence by a partner in their lifetime, compared to 19% per cent of women without a health problem or disability (European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2014).

However, in parts of Tanzania there is limited access to public health information. For example, health posters are not made accessible for the visually impaired or those who cannot read. Myths about the coronavirus (COVID-19) are already spreading such as its association with ‘sin’ and the disease as divine punishment for ‘sinners’. Young people are relying on social media as a source of information and as such are falling preys to fake news. Children and parents are not receiving education on preventive measures and thus children are playing outside, exposing themselves to the risk of infection. Other challenges have been brought on by the school closures which have increased unpaid care work for women (Tarimo, C. & Wu, J, (2020). Children are now at home and their care and protection is falling onto the women of the household. In some parts of Tanzania, some of the health centres are also lacking in facilities such as ventilators and preventative clothing for staff to prevent transmissions.

In a study of 173 countries 155 have at least one legal difference restricting women’s economic opportunities. Of those, 100 have laws that restrict the types of jobs that women can do, and in 18 husbands can prevent their wives from accepting jobs (World Bank, 2015).

We are extremely concerned by reports of security forces in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Zimbabwe using excessive force including beating, shooting, and arbitrarily detaining people to enforce lockdown measures.

1.1.3. Significance of the Study

Literature on studies of leadership and decision strategies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Tanzania is scanty. There is no sufficient data on the studies of leadership and decision strategies in response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in parliament representation. Twenty-five years after the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action, gender equality and women’s rights cannot afford setbacks and should not become victims of COVID19. On the contrary, the response to COVID-19 cannot be deemed efficient and sustainable if it is not built on gender-responsive decisions and actions. The significant of this study derives not only from its ability to determine the level of participation of women in leadership and decision strategies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic but also its examination of the factors that affect women’s effective participation. The fact that the study will place gender equality at the core of the parliamentary response to COVID-19, as parliaments reorganize their means of functioning and adapt their work to the new realities imposed by COVID-19, it is crucial that their decisions and actions be gender responsive. It is hoped that the data gathered from this study would lead to new affirmative action policies that will enhance gender mainstreaming and equal participation in all leadership and development processes. The data will also be resourceful to scholars and policy makers as well as contribute to the inadequate literature on studies of leadership and decision strategies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic analysis and prevention so as to transform gender-neutral or gender-blind parliamentary adaptation strategies into gender-responsive ones. For policymaking to be as inclusive and efficient as possible, mapping and securing the participation of both men and women is a must.

 

1.1.4 Conceptual Framework

A gender-sensitive parliament is one that responds to the needs and interests of both men and women in its structures, methods and work. The Children Care Development Organization (CCDO) research project is designed to support parliaments’ efforts to become more gender-sensitive institutions and offers a wide range of strategies in eight broad categories areas that can be implemented by all parliaments. This research should help parliaments to evaluate how gender sensitive they are, assess their current practices and policies, identify possible areas for reform, plan for change, and establish mechanisms to monitor progress on response to COVID-19 pandemic analysis and prevention strategies. As parliaments reorganize their means of functioning and adapt their work to the new realities imposed by COVID-19, it is crucial that their decisions and actions be gender responsive.

To begin with, parliaments must acknowledge that they are not a gender-neutral place. They must therefore do some soul-searching through a gender lens. Thus, this research will help to define a gender-sensitive parliament as one in which there are no barriers substantive, structural or cultural to women’s full participation and to equality between its men and women members and staff in response to COVID -19 pandemic prevention strategies. The study will contribute to achieve parliament gender sensitivity by thoroughly reviewing its structures, operations, methods and work so as to ensure they respond to the needs and interests of both men and women.

The proposed research will help to identifies seven key areas for gender-sensitive action: equality in participation, strong legal and policy frameworks, gender mainstreaming tools, gender-sensitive parliamentary infrastructure and culture, women’s and men’s shared responsibility for gender equality, political parties as gender equality champions, and gender-sensitive recruitment and staff development policies in response to COVID-19 pandemic.

This is an ambitious yet indispensable agenda. If parliament is to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in particular on Goal 5 on gender equality and Goal 16 relating to good governance and strong institutions, it must embody gender equality and lead by example. Today’s parliaments know that very well.

This research is designed in response to a growing desire by parliaments around the world to improve the way that they advance gender equality and to be models to the communities they represent on response to COVID-19 outbreak. The research will help parliaments wishing to evaluate how gender sensitive they are, assess their current practices and policies, identify possible areas for reform, plan for change, and establish mechanisms to monitor progress.

The research draws on CCDO’s extensive experience in supporting national parliaments on gender-sensitive reform work. It proposes sets of questions to be tailored to each national context. They are designed to lead to open, constructive discussions. The intention is not to rank parliaments. It is rather to help them identify their strengths and weaknesses in order to determine priorities for strengthening the institution. The parliament will find its own way through this process. But in all cases, the process will require strong leadership and commitment. It must include women and men, ensure everyone is on board, and bring about a change in culture.

The starting point of action on gender-sensitive parliaments is that it should facilitate the work of both men and women and enhance parliaments’ ability to deliver on gender equality, while the research Shall provides a framework for discussion among members of parliament, decision-makers in the parliamentary administration and parliamentary staff. The method involves answering questions about the policy frameworks and work of the parliament concerned on response to COVID-19 outbreak. These questions will be grouped under seven topics:

1)      Presence of women in parliament: number and positions

2)      Legal and policy framework for gender equality

3)      Mechanisms to mainstream gender equality throughout the work of parliament

4)      Infrastructure and policies to support a gender-sensitive culture

5)      Shared responsibility for gender equality among all parliamentarians

6)      Need for political parties to be champions of gender equality

7)      Role of parliamentary staff in supporting gender equality outcomes.

The above arguments will guide this study. African male leaders and particularly those involved in politics have taken advantage of these factors to either conceal or legitimize the perpetuation of those oppressive gender relations on response to COVID-19. While nationalist movements in Tanzania had mobilized both men and women in the struggle for independence, through these factors, power was essentially transformed to men who inherited all the colonial administrative apparatus. Hitherto studies of leadership and decision strategies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Tanzania will be phrased to promote discussion, rather than to extract factual, closed responses. It is hoped that in answering the questions, the group carrying out the self-assessment will engage in serious and systematic discussions on these issues, even if those discussions provoke disagreement.

2.0. Literature Review

The literature on studies of leadership and decision strategies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Tanzania is very scanty. However, a review of related literature from other parts of the world will suffice. The review will be done under eight broad categories. The first category deals with situation analysis of COVID-19 on women leadership and decision making. The second category deals with placing gender equality at the core of the parliamentary response to COVID-19. The third category deals with gender mainstreaming and women’s participation and leadership in parliamentary decision making on COVID-19. The fourth category deals with COVID-19 and gender responsive legislation. The firth category deals with overseeing the government’s COVID-19 response from a gender perspective. The sixth category deals with communicating and raising awareness on COVID-19 and its effects the role of MPs and parliaments. The seventh category deals with gender sensitive parliaments in times of COVID-19. The final category deals with parliamentary action today for a better tomorrow studies of leadership and decision strategies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic analysis and prevention.

2.1.0 Situation Analysis of COVID-19 on Women Leadership and Decision Making

Women are the mainstay of the essential services needed to withstand and cope with the pandemic. Some 70 per cent of the health workforce caring for those affected is made up of women. Women are also caring for those affected as heads of household and working in grocery stores and pharmacies. This means that women are on the front line and at high risk of infection.

The crisis and some of the measures to contain or respond to it can also put women's lives, health and safety doubly in jeopardy. Violence against women has already reached epidemic proportions in all societies, with 137 women killed every day globally by a member of their own family. The level of domestic violence and sexual exploitation further increases as a result of confined living conditions, economic stress and fear about the virus. We have also learnt from previous epidemics that resources should not be diverted from essential sexual and reproductive health services, otherwise the rights and lives of women and girls are disproportionately impacted in such crisis situations. During the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, more women died of obstetric complications than of the disease itself.

The world is experiencing not only a public health crisis but also an economic crisis. This economic downturn will disproportionately affect women and increase vulnerabilities. Women workers are more likely than men to have the lowest paid and least protected jobs, often in the informal sector (particularly in agriculture, cleaning and catering sectors and domestic work). They are disproportionately excluded from contributory and tax-financed health coverage and from social benefit protections, such as pensions, social insurance, paid sick leave, or parental and care leave. They are most likely to be the first ones to lose income that is crucial for them, their families and their communities and societies at large.

As social distancing and movement restrictions lead to increased use of digital technologies, greater vigilance is required around the fact that women and girls have less access to internet and digital literacy and are more targeted by gender-based online violence. Women leaders – such as women in politics, women human rights defenders, bloggers, journalists, activists, etc. – are at particular risk online. Studies conducted by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) on violence against women in parliaments have shown that social media are the main channel for threats. With home confinement, school closures and remote work, the household is becoming the central place where domestic, professional and parental responsibilities converge. Will this be an opportunity to better distribute domestic chores and childcare among women and men so that both can continue their professional lives? Or on the contrary will women continue to take on the majority of unpaid domestic and parental tasks to the detriment of their paid work life?.

 

2.1.1 Placing gender equality at the core of the parliamentary response to COVID-19

As parliaments reorganize their means of functioning and adapt their work to the new realities imposed by COVID-19, it is crucial that their decisions and actions be gender responsive. Below are some key issues and questions that – if considered and addressed – could transform gender-neutral or gender-blind parliamentary adaptation strategies into gender-responsive ones.

  1. Are the voices and concerns of women in society included in the deliberations and decisions of parliamentary committees, units and/or task forces on designing and implementing the pandemic response? For example, are women’s organizations, women representatives of labour market sectors, women working in the informal sector, women caring for the ill, etc., being heard and consulted by parliamentary committees and/or task forces, including by using virtual witness testimony via videoconferencing technologies?
  2. If parliament has reduced the number of MPs allowed to sit, are women MPs included among those allowed to sit? Is there a balance between men and women? If not, what is the proportion of women and how can it be enhanced towards equality?
  3. In exercising its oversight functions, is parliament ensuring that there is a balance between men and women or proportions as close as possible to 50/50 in the task forces and other mechanisms created on COVID-19 at the State/Executive level?
  4. If some parliamentary committees are still meeting, including remotely, are gender equality committees meeting and contributing to all mitigation strategies from a gender perspective?
  5. If new special parliamentary committees are created to scrutinize the government’s COVID-19 response, is scrutiny from a gender perspective included in their functions? Do they have the necessary capacities and resources to implement gender responsiveness?

2.1.2 Gender mainstreaming and women’s participation and leadership in parliamentary decision-making on COVID-19

For policymaking to be as inclusive and efficient as possible, mapping and securing the participation of both men and women is a must. At a time when parliaments and their structures are meeting in a reduced capacity, often with a reduced number of members, it is vital to secure the participation of women at all levels and their leadership in the decision-making and oversight committees, units and/or task forces put in place in parliament to respond to the crisis. Equal participation of men and women, women’s leadership and a clear gender-mainstreaming mandate are key to ensure the inclusivity and efficiency of such parliamentary mechanisms.

Just as important is the inclusion of women’s voices and the contribution of women’s organizations, women representatives of labour market sectors, women working in the informal sector, women caring for the ill, and so on, in all parliamentary deliberations during the COVID-19 crisis: to this end, virtual witness testimony via videoconferencing technologies, among other methods, would be a useful contribution.

Continued functioning of existing gender equality committees and the inclusion of gender equality in the mandate of new special parliamentary committees set up to scrutinize the government’s COVID-19 response are also essential to guarantee an accountable institutional commitment to gender mainstreaming and, ultimately, an efficient parliamentary response to the pandemic. Key questions to consider:

1)      If parliament has reduced the number of MPs allowed to sit, are women MPs included among those allowed to sit? Is there a balance between men and women? If not, what is the proportion of women and how can it be enhanced towards equality?

2)      In exercising its oversight functions, is parliament ensuring that there is a balance between men and women or proportions as close as possible to 50/50 in the task forces and other mechanisms created on COVID-19 at the State/Executive level?

3)      Are the voices and concerns of women in society included in the deliberations and decisions of parliamentary committees, units and/or task forces on designing and implementing the pandemic response? For example, are women’s organizations, women representatives of labour market sectors, women working in the informal sector, women caring for the ill, etc., being heard and consulted by parliamentary committees and/or task forces, including by using virtual witness testimony via videoconferencing technologies?

4)      If some parliamentary committees are still meeting, including remotely, are gender equality committees meeting and contributing to all mitigation strategies from a gender perspective?

5)      If new special parliamentary committees are created to scrutinize the government’s COVID-19 response, is scrutiny from a gender perspective included in their functions? Do they have the necessary capacities and resources to implement gender responsiveness?

2.1.3 COVID-19 and gender-responsive legislation

Laws adopted by parliament to allow the government to take measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 should be gender-responsive. Emergency assistance measures for the health and economy sectors, hospitals, doctors, workers, small businesses, the self-employed, families, and the socially disadvantaged must be informed by sex disaggregated data, building on a gender-based analysis of the situation. A detailed understanding of rates of infection and mortality among men and among women, for example, or information on who are the main beneficiaries of economic measures taken to respond to the crisis will help better shape policies and laws such that they efficiently address the needs of both men and women. Key questions to consider:

  1. If emergency assistance measures for the health and economy sectors, hospitals, doctors, workers, small businesses, the self-employed, families, and the socially disadvantaged are taken, are they being designed based on sex disaggregated data and are they responsive to the specific needs of women?
  2. When adopting legislation or amending standing orders to allow essential parliamentary work to be pursued, do adaptation measures take into account the specific situation and needs of women members of parliament and staff?

2.1.4 Overseeing the government’s COVID-19 response from a gender perspective

As mentioned above, structures set up to oversee government action during the crisis need to be gender-sensitive in their composition, mandate and working methods. Gender-responsive oversight will achieve a more effective review of the impact of actions taken, as analysing policy, measures, programmes and spending through a gender lens will help address the needs of women and men without discrimination. Key questions to consider:

1)      Are resources being diverted from life-saving health-care services for women, including safe maternal and newborn care, and access to contraception and other reproductive health services?

2)      What is being done for the most vulnerable women to ensure they can access food, water, and information and health services?

3)      Is specific financial support being provided to sectors that may not benefit from social protection and unemployment benefits, such as the informal sector?

4)      With the increased risk of domestic violence, what is being done to ensure that women have access to protection, resources and shelters as essential services? What is being done to curb the impact of the outbreak on support services for survivors, particularly health-care, police and justice services? How can women facing domestic violence call for help or escape when full time at home with violent partners? Have concrete actions to protect women survivors of violence and respond to their needs been adapted and included in the emergency measures against the pandemic?

5)      With schools closed, what measures have been taken to protect girls at risk of sexual violence?

2.1.5 Communicating and raising awareness on COVID 19 and its effects the role of MPs and parliaments

Media and other communication platforms are being used to reach out to constituents to inform them of measures taken to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Such initiatives also facilitate exchanges with constituents on their experiences and needs and can serve to identify the specific needs of women and girls. Awareness-raising that focuses on social distancing and hygiene measures should draw attention to the importance of sharing care responsibilities equally between women and men. Male MPs in particular can highlight how important it is that men and women share household and care responsibilities equally. Speaking out in the media and on other platforms on the crucial role that women are playing in responding to the health emergency, maintaining basic services and supporting families raises awareness of and strengthens solidarity with and support to women in their essential roles. Key questions to consider:

1)      Is virtual outreach to community organizations, such as health centres, food banks and women’s shelters, being used to identify the support required?

2)      If public awareness-raising on social distancing and hygiene measures is being conducted by parliamentary leadership and MPs, are they also raising awareness of the importance of sharing care responsibilities equally between women and men? Are male MPs highlighting how important it is that men and women share household and care responsibilities equally?

3)      Are parliament and MPs highlighting in the media and other platforms the crucial role that women are playing in responding to the health emergency, maintaining basic services and supporting families, so as to build awareness of the need to demonstrate solidarity towards them and support them in their essential roles?

2.1.6 Gender-sensitive parliaments in times of COVID-19

In times of crisis, parliaments are crafting new ways of working, adapting to the new reality. In this context, measures taken can gain efficiency by integrating a gender perspective from the very beginning. Parliaments in times of crisis cannot ignore gender equality. On the contrary, the crisis can and should be an opportunity to fasttrack decisions, processes and working methods that are conducive for parliament to remain, be or become a gender-sensitive institution. Key questions to consider:

1)      In these extraordinary times, are MPs and staff supported in juggling their work and household or family duties, without undue burden related to gendered roles, including by allowing teleworking with flexible hours for both men and women and granting paid leave to both men and women staff who no longer have access to childcare?

2)      Are adequate resources, knowledge-sharing and equipment allocated to facilitate teleworking for all MPs and staff so that men and women alike can pursue their work in the best way possible?

3)      Are all meetings, including virtual meetings, taking place during office hours?

4)      Is pay for all staff guaranteed, including non-salaried staff who has been asked to stay home or staff considered vulnerable to COVID-19 who should stay home because of age or medical conditions?

5)      Is support and guidance offered to MPs and staff on how to make safe use of digital technology in their work, including in cases of online violence, to which women are more exposed?

 

2.1.7 Parliamentary action today for a better tomorrow

The current COVID-19 crisis brings great challenges, but it may also open windows of opportunity to address and redress existing imbalances and inequalities and build fairer and more resilient societies in the long run. Therefore, this research will be beneficial to the studies of leadership and decision strategies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic by doing the following:

1)      By strengthening gender-mainstreaming capacity in parliament now, good practice will not only have a positive impact on decisions taken and measures designed today but will also become the way in which parliamentary business is conducted in the future.

2)      Setting up a monitoring system to document the measures taken within parliament will feed into post-COVID deliberations and decisions on how parliaments can continue to function in a gender-sensitive and gender responsive way at all times.

3)      If parliaments contribute now to ensuring health coverage for all, in line with the IPU resolution on universal health coverage, this will have long-lasting benefits for all, today and in the future.

4)      If parliaments take the opportunity now to challenge existing stereotypes and the traditional division of work within households and in the economy, this will support the economic empowerment of women and girls for years and generations to come.

5)      Documenting now the essential role of women in the crisis response, in society and in the economy, will help ensure that these roles are more systematically acknowledged and taken into account in the future. This will feed into the necessary cultural shift towards gender equality.

3.0 Research Intervention Activities

Children Care Development Organization (CCDO) in Tanzania is planning to work with people living in poverty, especially women and young people. Planned research activities include:

  • Raising awareness of COVID-19 in communities and to frontline service providers
  • Providing hygiene kits to women-led response committees
  • Training women’s rights organization members to produce locally-made face masks.
  • Advocating for the involvement of women and young people.
  • Identify possible areas for constitution reform
  • Define a gender sensitive parliament
  • Developing questionnaire and distribution
  • Conduct workshops
  • Identification of knowledge gaps
  • Collecting coronavirus blood samples and testing
  • Collecting traditional herbs for COVID-19 treatment and testing

4.0. Research Methodology

4.1.0. Research Design

The study will employ three types of research design, namely: explorative, descriptive, and survey. Explorative design has partly been utilized in the introductory part of the proposal and literature review. The design has also been used to formulate the objectives and research questions. This design will further be used to clarify the phenomena by studying of leadership and decision strategies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Tanzania. Descriptive design will be used to analyze the data. It will be used to describe the characteristics of women who are currently engaged in leadership and decision strategies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and those who have failed in political turbulence. Survey design will be used in the research instruments such as questionnaires, interview schedules and focus group discussions (FGDs).

4.1.1. Area and Scope of Study

The study will be conducted in the four provinces and constituencies namely Iringa and Dar es Salaam Regions of Tanzania. It will also focus on political parties, Medical Women Association of Tanzania (MEWATA), lobby groups, Medical Association of Tanzania, National Assembly of Tanzania, the Council of Councilors at District level, and coalitions. These will provide an excellent field laboratory since they engage in issues that affect women in leadership and decision making strategies. Based on the 2015 level of women participation in electoral politics results, it is appropriate that the following provinces and their respective constituencies be selected for the study:

4.1.2. Sampling Procedure

From the 15 provinces in Iringa and Dar es Salaam regions in Tanzania, 4 provinces have been purposively selected on the basis of level of women participation in leadership and decision making strategies. On the same basis, one constituency in each province is selected. In each constituency, the study population will consist of people who have been, or are actively engaged in leadership and decision strategies, traditional birth attendants, traditional healers, medical laboratory technicians, and electoral politics before, during, or after elections. The following categories of samples will be considered for the study:

Category One: Consists of political parties, lobby groups and coalitions. A list of registered political parties will be obtained from the registrar of societies. Purposive sampling will be employed to select political parties with higher number of women participants. Offices of these parties will be visited. Offices of the leading women’s political groups such as the Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP),Umoja wa Wanawake Tanzania (UWT), Tanzania Media Women’s Association (TAMWA), Tanzania Women Judges Association (TWJA), Medical Association of Tanzania (MAT), National Assembly of Tanzania, the Council of Councilors, and Medical Women’s Association of Tanzania (MEWATA), will be also visited. In this category data will be gathered to establish the efforts made to actively involve women in leadership and decision making strategies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Category Two: Entails women who have taken part as candidates for both civic and parliamentary seats, and their chief campaigners. The category will yield crucial data on the challenges women face first because of being women and second being politicians.

4.1.3. Data Collection Methods

In field research, the study will triangulate a number of data collection methods: self-administered questionnaires, interviews, and FGDs (Gilbert, M, Pullano, G, Pinotti, G, et al. (2020) . The researcher will engage four field assistants, one per every constituency considered. Interviews will be recorded in audio tapes. With regard to library research, relevant libraries and documentation/resource centres will be visited. Internet search will also be done to gather relevant data. Sources of data are expected to come from the list of men and women members of parliament (currently and in the recent past); list of men and women in positions of parliamentary leadership in the bureau or board (currently and in the recent past); list of committee membership, by sex, including positions of leadership (chairperson, deputy, other office bearers); list of parliamentary staff, by sex, including positions of leadership; standing orders/internal rules of the parliament; any laws relating to gender equality passed by the parliament in at least the past five years; the constitution and the national electoral law; any existing national action plan on gender equality; list of men and women in leadership positions in the major political parties; any government and opposition parties’ policies or programmes concerning gender equality; any policies of the parliament that have an impact on gender equality (e.g. code of conduct, anti-discrimination policies, communications strategy); the parliament’s strategic plan, or other plans of action; any indication of parliament’s involvement in United Nations gender equality mechanisms, such as national reports tabled in parliament for submission to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women; parliamentary debates held on those reports; and participation of parliamentarians at the Committee’s sessions or at the annual Commission on the Status of Women.

4.1.4. Data Analysis

Data recorded in other languages will be translated into English. Information recorded in audio tapes will be transcribed. Field data will be analyzed and integrated with secondary data, then thematically organized according to the objectives of the study. Through this organization, chapters of the report will be drawn. Qualitative and quantitative methods of data analysis will be applied. Descriptive and analytical methods will be used to present the data in various chapters of the report. In the report, documentary data will be organized and presented in the form of tables and percentages.

4.1.5 Reporting

The research will be current and available on Children Care Development Organization (CCDO) website, social media. Each step made in implementing activities of the research will be posted va various channels and shared as much as possible. CCDO Public Relation team will be active in documenting of all undertakings and posting series of events per day, week, monthly, quarterly and yearly. The donor will be given links so as to follow in each post made. Furthermore, a representative given by the project donor will be allowed to access the documents of the activities in collaboration with CCDO Public team.

Three months from the starting day of the research, the project team and leaders will prepare an official report which will be brought to the donor as a draft for comments and further capture the comments before officially published. The published year report will be shared in both hard and soft copies to various stakeholders including CCDO Members and all friends of CCDO. Special acknowledgment page for the donor will be an important content of the report.

Each financial records will be shared openly with the African Academy of Social Science donor on how every and each single cent have been spent in the research project also the Auditor’s report will be shared to the responsible the project donor which supported the research project.

4.1.6 Financial Management and Accountability

To ensure financial accountability, all transactions related to the research project will be well documented and reported to the donors within 30 days from the date the project commencement. All Proforma Invoices with their EFD receipts will be shared to the donor. Also to ensure the efficiency of the research, a Memorandum of Understanding shall be settled down between the project donor and CCDO counterpart. Acknowledgment of receiving funds will be provided as where and when the research project is debited all materials received from donor will be valued and receipt voucher will be provided to acknowledge the support. To easier the proper management of research project funds CCDO will be responsible to open a separate research account for the better achievement of the research intended goals.

4.1.7 Ethical Considerations

The research project will be entirely run by the Children Care Development Organization (CCDO). The CCDO policies shall be adhered in running the research project. CCDO methods will be the only methodologies of implementing the research activities. Interests of the project donor will be respected and maximum cooperation will be provided by all research participants. Violation of organization policies will not have a chance during the research project.

5.0. Conclusions

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to take part in the government of her or his country regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, religion or creed. Since women constitute over 50 per cent of the population in Tanzania, their equal right of access to leadership and decision strategies needs to be emphasized. Achieving the goal of equal participation of women and men in decision-making positions will provide a balance which more accurately reflects the composition of the society, interests and the general good of all citizens. The diversity of perspectives and experiences with regard to gender is highly valued as part of national development in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, where women are under-represented in activities within political and health leadership, emphasizing a gender equality perspective is necessary.

 

June 14, 2020
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