At the intersection of global development, national policies, and women: Analyzing gender policy distribution in Tanzania
Biggie, Katie J.
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As the 2015 deadline to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) rapidly approaches, many countries, including Tanzania, face uncertainty as to whether they will successfully fulfill each Goal and its corresponding indicators in time. Tanzania, as a signatory on the Goals, has implemented many new policies targeted at their achievement; however, large disparities still exist in the areas of girl's education and women's empowerment. Utilizing the framework of a vertical case study analysis 37 participants were interviewed in this qualitative based research study including Members of Parliament, Ministers, District Level Officials, non-Governmental organizations, and women to represent the differing levels of policy distribution in urban and rural areas. Each participant was asked their perception on how policy is created, distributed, and implemented to understand their knowledge of gender policies and their intended purpose. This study revealed inconsistent methods of policy distribution which led to varying perceptions of policy awareness, especially amongst non-governmental organizations and women. Additionally, a missing element emerged which could, if used correctly, have profound effects on gender policies within Tanzania. Participants indicated the inability to provide feedback to the government regarding the effectiveness and impact of policies. If viewed through the lens of critical feminist theory, a framework which seeks to capture data and use it to transform and challenge current social structures to affect meaningful change for women, feedback from women to the government could have a significant, meaningful impact on how policies are created, distributed, and implemented across the country.