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The Pastoral Women's Council: Empowerment for Tanzania's Maasai

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Ngoitiko, Maanda
Date: 2008
Agency: International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), London
Series: Gatekeeper 137e
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/5902
Sector: Grazing
Social Organization
Region: Africa
Subject(s): pastoralism
community development
Maasai (African people)
women
poverty
local governance and politics
Abstract: "The Pastoral Women’s Council (PWC) is a community-based organisation established in 1997 in Tanzania. It was founded to promote the development of Maasai pastoralist women and children by facilitating their access to education, health, social services and economic empowerment. It seeks to address women’s marginalisation in patriarchal Maasai culture, as well as the poverty among the Maasai that has long been underpinned by land access restrictions for pastoralists, hunters and gatherers. PWC’s concerns include preventing the loss of land to the national promotion of tourism, conservation and large-scale commercial farming. Maasai pastoralist women lack property ownership rights, access to social services and the power to make decisions about their own lives (e.g. marriage, education, access to health services). A movement in the 1990s brought about many rights and improved livelihood benefits for pastoralists, but often neglected the gender inequalities and injustices prevalent in Maasai society."

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