Australian volunteer Liz Reece is halfway through her 12-month assignment at Twende. Liz brings design and business experience to her Business Mentor role and recently had the opportunity to mentor two local women to pursue their employment goals. Liz’s assignment is part of the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program, an Australian Government initiative.
After a few months working in Arusha, Tanzania, I became more aware of the impacts of gender inequality. I saw that a girl growing up in my neighbourhood has expectations put upon her; women work hard from an early age carrying water, clothing or vegetables on their heads; and young women have a strong sense of responsibility to home duties that come before their own advancement.
I also found that Twende Innovation Centre struggles to get girls equally represented in their programs, despite extra effort to market our courses, provide transport and make our location a place where women feel welcome and legitimate. The young women who do participate in Twende programs are equally passionate, but accept the fact that they have to leave their work punctually to get home to do household chores.