Therefore, the Union of Tanzanian Women will be: (a) An organization which will unite all Tanzanian women and enable the revolutionary ideas of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi on Socialism and Self Reliance and the liberation of women to reach them and be understood wherever they are (Kazuni Za Jumuiya Ya Wanawake Wa Tanzania, 1978).
First, you must intensify the struggle against us for the purpose of doing away with loopholes and laws that prevent equality between men and women. Second you must overcome mental attitudes imposed on women by social orders. As a result of social systems, women have become either slaves or flowers (Nyerere, 1976).
Men will have to learn to accept women as equals in social production and women must cultivate a new personality, a new consciousness of freedom and rebellion against male exploitation and domination (Tanzania Daily News, 29 Oct., 1976).
One of the greatest weaknesses of the UWT … is the incompetence of its leadership to penetrate to the grassroots level. … (Madabida, 1974: 18).
As the first three quotations with which this paper begins suggest, the rhetoric of “women's liberation” became quite acceptable in Tanzania during the 1970s with President Nyerere himself taking the lead in identifying existing inequalities between men and women as an impediment to socialist transformation. At the international level as well it had become clear–with the declaration in 1975 of a “UN Decade of Women” as the most obvious rhetorical gesture–that the neglect of women as objects of, much less as actors in development projects and programs was seriously undermining the success of such efforts, with negative consequences for development in general and devastating consequences for women in particular.