Friday, 4 March 2016


Tuchambue kwa mapana na kina wajibu wa Familia katika Ulimwengu mamboleo; Basi, Mungu akaumba mtu kwa mfano wake; naam, kwa mfano wa Mungu alimuumba. Alimuumba Mwanaume na Mwanamke......katika maana hiyo, wote wana usawa halisi katika sura ya Mungu. Hakuna aliye zaidi ya mwingine, lakini anawaumba kama Mwanaume na Mwanamke hivyo mahusiano yao wawili ni ya Mke na Mume. wanapojaliwa zawadi ya watoto basi huyu Mke anakuwa Mama yao. Na hii ndiyo maana tunasema huyo ni Mama na Mwanamke wakati huo huo.

Waraka wetu huu unaitaka Jamii itambue usawa wa Wanawake katika ugawaji wa majukumu....Mwanaume asipendelewe na Mwanamke akatupwa nje kama ambavyo historia inaonyesha kwa wakati uliopita. Lakini pia tunaitaka Jamii inapogawanya majukumu ihakikishe kwamba Mama asije akapewa majukumu yanayomtenga sana na Familia, kwani Umama wake ni wa lazima sana katika makuzi ya watoto kiasi kwamba hakuna mwingine zaidi ya Mama.

Waraka huu unaonya kwa ukali kabisa kuhusu tabia ya ukandamizaji na unyanyasaji wa Wanawake unaofanya waonekane kama watumwa katika kila nyanja ya maisha kama; katika elimu, ajara na mishahara.

Ukweli usiopingika kuwa kwetu Afrika Jamii nyingi zinampa Mwanamke nafasi ya mwisho na kwa udhaifu huu hata ndoa za wake wengi zinakubalika tu! Tumshukuru Mungu kuwa leo kwa jitihada mbalimbali za Serikali nafasi sawa kwa wote inasisitizwa na jitihada mbalimbali zinafanyika kila mahali kumwinua Mwanamke kwa kupitia Vikundi vya umoja wa Wanawake. Tuendelee kuunga mkono jitihada hizi katika Jumuiya zetu, Makanisani mwetu, Misikitini, Majimboni mwetu na Nchini mwetu na kokote tunapofanya kazi. Katika jitihada hizi ni vizuri pia kuwa macho....kuwa Mwanamke na Umama ni hadhi kubwa sana ambayo hatupaswi kuiacha na kutafuta kuwa kama Mwanaume au Baba wa familia. Ni vizuri kila Mwanamke ajivunia; Umama wake, aupende, auheshimu na kuutunza kama alivyofanya Bikira Maria, kiasi cha kuwa Tabernakulo ya kwanza ya Neno la Mungu aliyefanyika Mwili akakaa kwetu kwa njia ya Roho Mtakatifu.

Wanawake wasikubali kamwe kuwa ni Vichokoo vya matangazo ya biashara, watambue na kuthamini Utu na Heshima yao katika mpango mzima wa kazi ya uumbaji.

Gender Stereotypes !!!

‘Men are insensitive’
‘Women are bad drivers’
‘All men love sports and sex ’
‘All women love shopping and gossiping’
How often have we heard these comments in our culture? Some people may feel angry when gender based comments are made, while others may agree to these comments as genuine differences between the sexes or some others may just crackle up seeing the lighter side of this battle between the sexes.

Difference between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’

How then do we understand the important issue of sex and gender? Women’s and men’s gender identities follow from their specific female or male bodies. We need the distinction between “sex” as a biological category – genes, hormones, external and internal genitalia and “gender” as a socio-cultural word – learned characteristics, cultural expectations and behavioural patterns. This helps account for differences in the notion of ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’ in different cultures over time and space. The different views of how men and women behave in different cultures show that gender difference and identity is given not only by our biology but also from the views of our society. Gender views may change, while being male or female doesn’t.

Common gender stereotypes in our culture

Let’s examine what acting like a man and being ladylike means in our society and what might be some gender stereotypes in the Indian culture:
‘It’s a boy!’, says the nurse and from then on, subtle stereotyping begins. Conscious and unconscious motives of having the family race continue through him bring joy. Guns and cars are bought for him, preferably blue and never pink! While growing up, if he cries he will be told ‘don’t cry like a girl!’ He perhaps learns to suppress his emotions as he thinks it is ‘girlish’ to express them. It’s likely that he’d be encouraged to act strong, to act brave, to be tough etc. Developing the ‘right male interests’ like sports, taking care of the outside work, managing money, learning to ride/drive, fixing the bulb etc. will most likely be encouraged in him. He would perhaps be discouraged from cooking and serving. He is likely to have fewer restrictions while going out. While choosing a career, he would be encouraged to be ambitious. He is likely to be discouraged from choosing careers like teaching, counselling etc. as they are seen to be ‘softer’ career options meant for girls. The question of balancing home & family could may not arise for him as it is assumed that his gender defines his primary role as bread winner.
On the other hand, if the nurse says ‘It’s a girl!’, the equations tend to change from that minute. Her room is perhaps decorated with the supposed feminine colour pink and dolls are bought for her.  In many communities in India, she could be considered inferior to a boy child. Conscious and unconscious motives of some day ‘giving her away’ and ‘saving for her dowry/marriage expenses’ may bring despair. While growing up, she will be allowed to cry and express herself emotionally. ‘Good manners’ like talking & laughing gently and not loudly, being delicate, being submissive to elders, not ‘fighting like boys’, being sacrificial, caring etc. is most likely to be taught to her. Developing the ‘right interests’ like cooking, dancing, singing, tiding up the house, serving etc. will most likely be encouraged in her. She may not be encouraged to go out as often as her brother and is likely to have many more restrictions. While choosing a career, she is likely to be discouraged from choosing careers such as civil services or defence services as she will not be able to ‘balance’ family & home later on. It is most often assumed that her gender would define her role & function at home as primarily home maker and mother.

Research on gender stereotypes

Perhaps gender stereotypes are a result of ‘nurture’ more than ‘nature’, as suggested by many research studies on this subject. A recent research study suggests that differences between individual girls or between individual boys are much greater than those between the “average” girl and the “average” boy. Yet we tend to generalize from the “average” girl or boy to individuals.
In our culture, the ideal male is perhaps seen as competent, stable, tough, confident, strong, accomplished, non-conforming, aggressive and is the leader. The ideal female is perhaps seen as warm, emotional, kind, polite, sensitive, friendly, fashionable, gentle, soft and is the follower. In urban contexts, these gender expectations and stereotypes could be more subtle and indirect.
Research also shows that these stereotypes create dangerous consequences that limit a person’s full potential and well being. Men and women, because of these stereotypes, are forced to ignore their personality traits, temperament and unique characteristics that make them who they are. Instead there is always a tendency to conform to the cultural notions of ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’.
There may be several men who are soft & gentle in their temperament, who love to cook and are often bombarded by our society for not being charismatic and extroverted. On the other hand, there may be several women who are naturally extroverted, brave and tough and they are bombarded by our society for not being gentle & submissive.
Also, the tendency to over generalize ‘that all men are from mars’ and ‘all women are from venus’ is all too common. Exaggerated differences between men & women, most of which are researched to be individual differences, are glorified and generalized as gender differences. The nature-nurture debate still continues as to the definitions of masculinity and femininity.
In his book, ‘Men are from earth and women are from earth’, G Soh challenges stereotypes and proves that there are more similarities than differences between men & women, even anatomically. Men & women have the same desires, wants, dreams and fears.

Going behind the layers of gender

Somehow, in all this chaos, our real self is often lost. Many of us realize this but wonder how to get out of these boxes that seem to be so deeply ingrained in us. We know we have the power to decide what makes sense for us, even if it requires us to look beyond our gender.
Perhaps the best way we can bring about change in our society is by becoming aware of our own biases and stereotypes in the way we see ourselves and others. Psychologists suggest that every human being has both masculine and feminine parts to themselves and the integration of both these parts lead to psychological wellbeing and balance.
If you’d like to think and brainstorm more about this subject, consider the following questions:
  • Who decides and defines ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’?
  • How much of a role do both nature and nurture play in the above definitions?
  • Does gender define roles and functions at home, workplace & community?
  • Are there inborn traits in men or women that predispose them to make better or worse leaders?
  • Are both boys and girls intellectually gifted? Are some subjects or fields the preserve of one sex, which the others cannot aspire to?
  • Can the culturally defined roles of husband & wife be shared, interchanged and adjustable?
 We’d like to hear your thoughts on this subject, feel free to post a comment or get to know more about us.

Tanzanian Couples’ Perspectives on Gender Equity, Relationship Power, and Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the RESPECT Study !!

1RTI International, 114 Sansome Street, Suite 500, San Francisco, CA 94104, USA
2Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California Berkeley, 101 Haviland Hall, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA
3Development Research Group, The World Bank, 1818 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20433, USA
4Health Economics and Finance, Global Health Program, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, P.O. Box 23350 Seattle, WA 98102, USA
5Ifakara Health Institute, Plot 463 Kiko Avenue, Mikocheni, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania
6Division of Health Policy and Management, University of California Berkeley, 239 University Hall, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA
Received 10 June 2012; Revised 29 November 2012; Accepted 29 November 2012
Academic Editor: Craig R. Cohen
Copyright © 2012 Suneeta Krishnan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is widely prevalent in Tanzania. Inequitable gender norms manifest in men’s and women’s attitudes about power and decision making in intimate relationships and are likely to play an important role in determining the prevalence of IPV. We used data from the RESPECT study, a randomized controlled trial that evaluated an intervention to prevent sexually transmitted infections in a cohort of young Tanzanian men and women, to examine the relationship between couples’ attitudes about IPV, relationship power, and sexual decision making, concordance on these issues, and women’s reports of IPV over 12 months. Women expressed less equitable attitudes than men at baseline. Over time, participants’ attitudes tended to become more equitable and women’s reports of IPV declined substantially. Multivariable logistic regression analyses suggested that inequitable attitudes and couple discordance were associated with higher risk of IPV. Our findings point to the need for a better understanding of the role that perceived or actual imbalances in relationship power have in heightening IPV risk. The decline in women’s reports of IPV and the trend towards gender-equitable attitudes indicate that concerted efforts to reduce IPV and promote gender equity have the potential to make a positive difference in the relatively short term.

1. Introduction

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a major public health and human rights concern in Tanzania [1]. According to the World Health Organization’s Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence (2000–2003), the prevalence of physical and/or sexual IPV was 41% and 56%, respectively, among a representative sample of ever-partnered women in Dar es Salaam and the southern district of Mbeya [2]. A growing number of studies have documented the association between IPV and an array of adverse reproductive and sexual health outcomes, including pregnancy loss and HIV infection among women in Tanzania [37]. Of particular concern is evidence on the links between IPV, sexual risk behaviors, and HIV infection among young Tanzanian women and men [69]. According to one study at an HIV voluntary counseling and testing center in Dar-es-Salaam, the odds of IPV were ten times higher among young HIV-positive women (<30 years of age) than among similarly aged HIV-negative women [6]. Another study involving 951 young men aged 16 to 24 years in two neighborhoods of Dar-es-Salaam found that about a third had ever perpetrated IPV and that those who reported more lifetime sexual partners were also more likely to perpetrate IPV [7]. Given the high prevalence of IPV and its adverse health impacts, a better understanding of the risk of IPV, especially among young women, is needed.
It is widely accepted that gender inequities, perpetuated by cultural norms regarding gender roles and manifest in men’s and women’s ideas about power and decision making in relationships, have a profound impact on the perpetration and experience of IPV [10]. Several qualitative studies in Tanzania have documented the links between entrenched gender inequities and IPV [8911]. In one study, 16–24-year-old men and women in Dar-es-Salaam described the ideal woman as one who is home-bound, loyal to her partner, and sexually submissive [9]. Young women who deviated from these prescribed behaviors risked being beaten. Infidelity or perceptions of infidelity were the most commonly cited triggers of violence against female partners across studies [89]. Men and women often justified violence against a female partner as a response to a woman’s infidelity or confrontations regarding a man’s infidelities. Furthermore, it was not uncommon for women to be blamed for provoking IPV, preventing women from seeking support or medical care, and making law enforcement difficult [12].
Survey data lend support to the observation that both men and women in Tanzania condone IPV as a normal part of an intimate relationship [713]. According to the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS, 2004), 60% and 42%, respectively, of women and men found spousal abuse to be acceptable under one or more scenarios (e.g., wife neglects child, goes out without permission, argues with husband, etc.) [13]. Maman et al. reported that 46% of a sample of young men condoned violence against a female partner in one or more circumstances [7]. A similar proportion of women attending an HIV voluntary counseling and testing center in Dar-es-Salaam felt that physical abuse was justified in at least one of several situations such as infidelity, disobedience, and nonperformance of domestic work [14].
Although research has explored men’s and women’s attitudes about IPV, few studies have empirically examined the association between these attitudes and IPV risk [15]. For example, a cross-sectional survey of men working in three municipalities in Cape Town, South Africa found that men who thought it was acceptable to hit women were more likely to also report recent or past physical violence against a partner [16]. Still fewer studies have assessed the relationships between concordant or discordant attitudes towards IPV within a couple and women’s experience of IPV. A recent analysis of DHS data from six African countries (Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Rwanda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) examined the relationship between couple concordance on attitudes towards IPV (partner agreement that violence is justified in at least one situation) and IPV (any physical or sexual violence reported by women) [17]. The authors found that IPV was more commonly reported among couples who agreed that IPV was acceptable in at least some situations as well as those who expressed discordant attitudes towards IPV compared to couples who agreed that IPV was never acceptable. Notably, statistically significant associations between concordance on IPV acceptability and reported IPV and between discordance and IPV were observed in five and four out of six countries, respectively.
To our knowledge, the association between couples’ attitudes towards IPV, couple concordance in attitudes and IPV risk has not been examined in Tanzania. Using data from the Rewarding STI Prevention and Control in Tanzania (RESPECT) study, we examined men’s and women’s attitudes about IPV, relationship power, and sexual decision making and couples’ concordance on these issues, and whether these attitudes were associated with women’s experience of IPV at baseline and over time.

2. Methods

2.1. The RESPECT Study
The year-long RESPECT study was a randomized controlled trial designed to evaluate whether conditional cash transfers (CCT) promoted safe sex and reduced the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (see [18] for additional details regarding the study). Women and men aged 18–30 years living in 10 villages in the Kilombero/Ulanga districts in south-western Tanzania were randomly selected from the Ifakara Demographic and Health Surveillance System database. Participants who were interested in enrolling jointly with their spouse were encouraged to do so and considered to be a couple if they each reported that they were married to one another or were living together as if married. Couples were linked through a common household identification number.
About 50% of participants were randomly assigned to a no-payment control group, 25% to a low-value CCT group, and the remaining 25% to a high-value CCT group. Participants were followed for 12 months and interviewed every 4 months to gather data on a range of issues, including sociodemographic background, economic status, sexual and reproductive health knowledge, practices, and history, attitudes about IPV and relationship power, as well as experiences of IPV (women) and perpetration of IPV (men). They also underwent STI and HIV counseling and testing. Participants in the CCT arms received cash payments for every 4 monthly negative STI laboratory test result. All enrolled individuals were invited to group counseling sessions that focused on relationship and life skills training based on the Stepping Stones curriculum [19].
2.2. Theoretical Framework and Hypotheses
The analysis is guided by a social-ecological framework, which posits that IPV risk is shaped by the interplay of a host of individual, community, and societal factors, including individual beliefs and practices within an intimate relationship as well as community and societal norms regarding gender and power [20]. It is also informed by the proximate determinants framework proposed by Boerma and Weir, which enables the classification of factors into distal and proximate predictors of IPV [21]. According to the proximate determinants framework, ecological factors such as cultural norms influence a particular health outcome through a set of intermediate or proximate variables. These proximate determinants, which can include a combination of social and biological factors, directly influence the health outcome of interest.
In this analysis, we considered attitudes toward IPV as proximate determinants, and gender norms as a key underlying, distal determinant of IPV. For example, women’s access to education and employment is limited in social and cultural environments that are highly patriarchal, increasing their economic dependence on male partners, which is a known risk factor for IPV (i.e., a proximate determinant) [22]. Similarly, inequitable gender norms can also create an environment that is generally tolerant of male dominance in intimate relationships and violence against women (a distal determinant) [23], and influence both men’s and women’s attitudes towards IPV (a proximate determinant), and in turn affect women’s experience of IPV.
We outlined our hypotheses about the causal relationships between all variables in a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG; not presented) and used the DAG to determine the minimum variables necessary to include in multivariable analyses to remove confounding of the main effects. Our primary hypothesis is that men’s and women’s attitudes about IPV, relationship power, and sexual decision making (including couple concordance/discordance on these attitudes) are proximate determinants of women’s experience of IPV. Specifically, we proposed that women’s and men’s espousal of inequitable gender attitudes would be associated with greater experience of IPV at baseline and over time. We also hypothesized that couples’ discordance on these issues would be associated with a heightened risk of IPV at baseline, and that this relationship would persist over time. We further hypothesized that the very fact of discordance between couples is more important than the nature of that discordance; that is, we proposed that lack of agreement between a woman and her partner (regardless of which partner held the more inequitable attitudes) would be associated with a higher risk of IPV than if she agreed with her partner. This finding would be consistent with earlier studies that have found that women themselves often exhibit highly inequitable attitudes about IPV as a way of fitting in with their communities and protecting themselves from violence [2425].
2.3. Ethical Considerations
Study protocols were approved by institutional review boards in Tanzania and the United States. All study participants gave written informed consent to participate in the study. Couples were interviewed separately at a study station that was set up on the outskirts of the village, and care was taken to ensure privacy and confidentiality. Study interviewers received in-depth training on interviewing techniques, gender and reproductive health, and the study protocols. A study liaison was identified in each village to help participants gain access to further information, counseling services, and study personnel. In addition, study counselors received training on how to offer psychosocial support and were equipped with information on domestic violence-related services.
2.4. Measures
The outcome of interest—women’s self-report of intimate partner violence over the previous 4-month period—was measured using a dichotomous variable based on four questions from the RESPECT questionnaire: “have you been hit, kicked, or beaten by your partner and/or a family member for any reason during the last 4 months?”, “Has your partner or another family member done any of the following during the last 4 months: humiliated you in front of others, insulted you, tried to scare you, threatened to hurt you or someone you care about?”, “Have you been physically forced to have sexual intercourse when you did not want to during the last 4 months?”, and “Did you, during the last 4 months, have sexual intercourse when you did not want to because you were afraid of what your partner might do?”. Participants who responded “yes” to one or more of these questions were coded as having experienced violence, while those who responded “no” to all four questions were coded as not having experienced violence. The RESPECT questionnaire did not ask women about lifetime experience of violence; at all rounds, women were asked about their experience of violence in the previous four months.
Although the RESPECT questionnaire asked similar questions regarding male participants’ perpetration of violence against their partners, couples did not always agree on violence within their relationships (data not shown). Given this disagreement and our primary interest in examining women’s experience of IPV during the course of the study, we decided to focus on women’s report of violence as the outcome measure.
Our analyses focused on the association between women’s reports of IPV and women’s and men’s attitudes about IPV, relationship power, and sexual decision making and couples’ concordance. Men’s and women’s attitudes towards IPV and opinions about power within relationships were assessed using four exposure variables. The first question (“is a husband justified in beating his wife if…”) measured the acceptability of physical IPV in five hypothetical situations: if a wife goes out without telling her husband, if she neglects the children, if she argues with her husband, if she refuses to have sex with her husband, or if she burns the food. A binary variable was created to measure acceptability of IPV, coded as “1” if a participant responded in the affirmative to any of these five situations and coded as “0” if the participant did not agree that violence was justified in any of these situations. The second question assessed the acceptability of IPV as a response to a wife refusing to have sex with her husband: “if a woman refuses to have sex with her husband when he wants her to, he has the right to: get angry and reprimand her, refuse to give her money or other means of financial support, use force and have sex with her even if she doesn’t want to, or go and have sex with another woman.” A binary variable (yes/no) was created on the basis of whether participants thought IPV was acceptable in response to a wife’s refusal to have sex. For each of these questions, couples were coded as having concordant responses if both partners shared the same binary response.
Our third and fourth exposure variables of interest assessed participants’ opinions about power within their relationship. These were ascertained using the following two questions: “who usually has more say about whether you have sex?” and “in general, who do you think has more power in your relationship?” Participants were given the response options “myself”, “my partner”, or “both people equally.” Couples were determined to be concordant if they shared the same response about which partner had more to say about having sex or had more power in the relationship, regardless of which partner this was or whether they agreed that they shared these decisions equally.
Other covariables we considered included age (measured as a continuous variable), education status (measured as a categorical variable—no schooling, some primary school, primary school completed, some secondary school, secondary school completed, and postsecondary or university education), and socioeconomic position (measured by asking participants to rate themselves on a scale from 1 to 7 relative to others in their community). We also examined differences in reported IPV by study arm.
2.5. Statistical Analyses
Analyses were conducted using data from the subset of heterosexual couples who were enrolled in the study together. All couples were included in the baseline data analysis, and couples on whom data were available for a minimum of two out of the four rounds were included in the longitudinal analyses. For each round, couples were included in the analysis as long as there were no missing data on the variables of interest.
Preliminary analyses focused on the cross-sectional relationships between age, education, and socioeconomic position and ever having experienced IPV at baseline using contingency tables, Chi-square analyses, and Student’s t-tests. Next, we looked at changes in women’s reports of IPV as well as changes in participant’s attitudes about IPV and relationship power during the follow-up period. We conducted tests for trend to determine whether changes were statistically significant.
To examine the independent relationship between the exposure variables (women’s and men’s attitudes towards IPV and relationship power and partner concordance on attitudes) and IPV, we fit separate logistic regression models for each indicator. We also ran a multivariable logistic regression model to examine the association of each main exposure variable and IPV, adjusting for socioeconomic status, age, and education.
Finally, to examine the longitudinal relationship between the exposure variables of interest and women’s experience of IPV, we used multivariable random effects logistic regression models [26]. These models were used to examine the effect of changes in men’s and women’s attitudes about IPV and relationship power and couple concordance on odds of experiencing IPV over time. A random effects model was chosen to evaluate the change in IPV odds for a single woman when she expressed inequitable attitudes versus when she expressed equitable attitudes. This model produced an odds ratio of experiencing IPV for an individual woman when she expressed inequitable attitudes relative to when she expressed equitable attitudes. Similar interpretations apply to the set of analyses run on men’s attitudes, as well as the set of analyses on couple concordance. Clustered standard errors were used to account for the nonindependence of an individual’s observations over time.
Socioeconomic position, age, education, and round of data collection were included in the models as confounders. Interactions between these confounders and the exposures of interest were also considered. However because they were not statistically significant, they were not included in the final model.
We examined three “families” of hypotheses: based on women’s attitudes and opinions, men’s attitudes and opinions, and couple concordance. We believed that an individual hypothesis within each family would have to be considered in light of the additional tests performed on other hypotheses within the subgroup. Since each family of hypotheses included four exposure variables, we determined that an appropriate significance level (alpha) for each hypothesis test would be set at 0.05/4 or 0.0125.

3. Results

Out of a total of 2,399 individuals enrolled in RESPECT, 567 couples were identified and included in this analysis. A comparison of individuals who reported being married or living together as married and who did not enroll as a couple and those who did enroll as a couple indicated that there were no statistically significant demographic differences between the two groups. A total of 26 couples were lost to follow up: seven after the baseline round and an additional 19 between rounds 2 and 4. Additionally, at each round, between two and four couples were missing data on one or more variables and were excluded from the analysis. Couples who were lost to follow or excluded due to missing data did not differ in terms of demographic characteristics or women’s reports of IPV (data not shown).
Participant characteristics at baseline including demographic background, experiences of IPV, attitudes about violence and opinions about sexual decision making and relationship power are shown in Table 1. About one in five women (20.5%) reported experiencing IPV at baseline. Women who reported experiencing IPV and those who did not were of similar age and had similar levels of education and self-reported socioeconomic status. Of note is the fact that large proportions of men and women felt that IPV was justified in some instances: at baseline, 71% of women and 48% of men reported that beating a wife was justified in one or more situations. In addition, according to both women and men, husbands had more say over sex and had more power in their relationship than wives. Overall, men espoused more gender-equitable attitudes than women.
Table 1: Baseline characteristics of couples in the RESPECT study.
Analyses revealed that women’s reports of violence and participants’ attitudes about IPV and opinions about sexual decision making and relationship power changed consistently and substantially over the 12-month follow-up period. Reported IPV (in the four months prior to the interview) decreased steadily over time from 20.5% at baseline to 11.8% at 12 months (data not shown). The decrease was statistically significant () and was not associated with demographic characteristics or study arm. In addition, at 12 months, fewer women and men noted that violence against a wife was acceptable, and a larger proportion of participants reported that sexual decision making was shared by both partners (Table 2). Interestingly, for both men and women, responses to questions about the acceptability of IPV showed more dramatic changes from baseline to 12 months than responses to questions about power within relationships, which barely changed. No changes in the level of couple discordance/concordance in attitudes about IPV were observed (data not shown).
Table 2: Attitudes about IPV and opinions about relationship power at 12 months and changes over time.
Table 3 summarizes the results of the longitudinal and random effects of multivariable logistic regression analyses. The associations between men’s attitudes about IPV and relationship power and spousal reports of IPV were in the hypothesized direction, but were not statistically significant. However, several measures of women’s attitudes about IPV and relationship power were statistically associated with their reports of IPV. Women who reported that violence was ever justified if a woman refuses sex were more than twice as likely to report IPV (adjusted OR = 2.29, 95% CI: 1.65–3.17). Furthermore, women were less likely to report IPV when they said that both partners shared sexual decision making (adjusted OR = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.5–0.98), as compared to women who said that their partner controlled sexual decision making. Notably, we found that women were less likely to report IPV when they said that both partners had equal power (adjusted OR = 0.43, 95% CI: 0.21–0.89) or that they controlled more power (adjusted OR = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.28–2.94). For all four exposures of interest, women were more likely to report IPV when couples expressed discordant attitudes relative to when they shared concordant attitudes, but these effects were relatively small and not statistically significant (Table 3).
Table 3: Men's and women's attitudes as predictors of women's IPV report, multivariable logistic regression analysisa.
In all longitudinal analyses, a statistically significant portion of the variance of the estimates was due to the random effect of individuals, suggesting that there was a significant amount of between-subject variation (data not shown).

4. Discussion

This longitudinal analysis suggests that couples’ attitudes towards violence and opinions about sexual decision making and relationship power are proximate determinants of women’s experience of IPV. The study also provides some evidence that discordance among couples on these issues may heighten women’s risk of experiencing IPV.
Our observation that gender inequitable attitudes were more commonly reported by women than men is consistent with findings from other studies [13]. It is possible that due to social desirability bias, men were less likely than women to openly agree that violence against women is justified. However, researchers have suggested that women’s acceptance of IPV and conformity to dominant understandings of gender roles and relationships is likely to be an expression of their experience and expectations as well as a reflection of prevailing social norms [112425]. Studies elsewhere in the world have noted that women who transgress norms, for example, by choosing their spouse or by seeking economic independence, are more likely to experience IPV [2728]. Indeed, conformity to social norms and expectations may be a protective mechanism-enabling women to fit in and avoid family and community censure. Qualitative research in Tanzania suggests that pressures on women to conform are considerable. In Lary et al.’s study in Dar-es-Salaam, young female participants placed “great value on community perceptions of their character” and noted that even taking a walk may raise family and community members’ suspicions [9]. Other research by Laisser et al. in an urban community in Tanzania also highlighted women’s internalization of inequitable norms. In the words of one female participant, “we annoy our husbands with our behaviours and sometimes we deserve to be beaten [11, page 5].” That said, the authors also noted that perceptions of IPV may be changing, with both men and women acknowledging the adverse impacts of violence on women’s self-esteem, health, and dignity and expressing a need for governmental action, including laws against IPV and health care services for survivors [11].
It is encouraging to note that men and women tended to express more gender equitable attitudes by the end of the study. The fact that attitudes about the acceptability of IPV changed far more than opinions about sexual decision making and power within participants’ relationships suggests that the changes could have been partly a result of social desirability bias. However, reported 1PV declined steadily over the course of the study from 20% at baseline to 12% at the end of one year of followup, and were not associated with demographic characteristics or intervention/control status. Since we have data on levels of IPV only from RESPECT study participants, we cannot determine whether this result reflects a declining trend in IPV in this region. However, to our knowledge, no major interventions on IPV occurred during this time period and it is unlikely that such a substantial reduction in IPV could be explained in this fashion. The reduction in women’s reports of IPV—despite improved rapport between participants and study staff (which may have improved IPV disclosure)—suggests that changes in men’s attitudes and behaviors may have resulted from study participation. Given that the proportion of individuals who participated in the group counseling sessions on relationship and life skills was low (data not shown), and that STI/HIV counseling did not explicitly address relationship issues, we hypothesize that repeated exposure to survey questions on relationship dynamics and the opportunity to participate in the study as a couple may have contributed to these shifts. Engaging men and women—as individuals, couples, and community members—is widely accepted as an important component of IPV prevention efforts worldwide [2329]. At a minimum, our study demonstrates the feasibility, safety, and potential effectiveness of engaging young Tanzanian men and women as couples in programs that address subjects considered controversial or taboo in their communities.
Results of the longitudinal regression analyses point to the potential benefits of promoting notions of equity in relationships. Women who reported that they shared sexual decision making and relationship power with their partner were consistently less likely to report IPV. In contrast, IPV was reported more frequently when men and women espoused inequitable attitudes or reported that women had more decision making control in the relationship although few of these associations were statistically significant. These findings underscore the need to better understand the delicate balance of power in intimate relationships and the role that perceived or actual imbalances in power (especially in favor of women) have in heightening women’s risk of IPV. Further qualitative research may shed light on the dynamics of power, conflict, and violence within relationships in which partners hold similar or differing views.
The association between couples’ concordance on attitudes about IPV and relationship power and women’s experience of violence also merits further investigation. Our study had limited statistical power to investigate the relationship between different types of concordance/discordance and IPV risk. Thus, we were unable to examine whether IPV risk differed depending on who held more equitable attitudes within a relationship. For example, future research should explore whether risk is higher among women who feel IPV is unjustified and whose partners feel it is justified. Previous research has suggested that discordance within a couple arising from perceived or actual gains in power by women can result in backlash, including IPV by men [272930]. However, researchers have also pointed out that women can also be resistant to changes in gender roles and relations and unwilling to let go of their beliefs and expectations regarding men’s and women’s roles and responsibilities within relationships, leading to conflict and violence [29].
Overall, much remains to be learned about how women and men perceive and engage with ideas of greater equity in intimate relationships. Gender norms and values are dynamic, and their relationship with individual behaviors and experiences is complex. Further in-depth examination of young women’s and men’s evolving ideas about gender, identity, and relationships is needed. Several questions merit study. For example, do young men and women perceive their relationship to be “healthy”? Do they desire greater equity and how do they define equity in a relationship? Are these views—and concordance/discordance in views within a couple—associated with how partners communicate with each other, handle conflicts, and experience or perpetrate IPV? A better understanding of these questions will further illuminate the ways in which gender norms and relationship dynamics influence women’s risk of experiencing of violence and help identify entry points for IPV prevention efforts.
Our study has additional limitations. First, the decision to measure IPV as a binary variable without accounting for frequency or type of IPV, while providing us with more statistical power, may have prevented us from observing crucial differences in the associations between attitudes and IPV risk. Second, it is especially difficult to draw strong conclusions about the heightened risk of IPV among couples holding discordant attitudes without a finer understanding of how the composition of this discordance might differently impact women’s experience of IPV. Third, the decision to use only partnered couples in these analyses also raises issues of potential selection bias. It is possible that partners who both chose to participate in the RESPECT study differed in important ways from participants whose partners chose not to be in the study, including on attitudes about the acceptability of IPV. Finally, it is possible that women who experience IPV are more likely to report that violence is justified.

5. Conclusions

Despite its limitations, this research provides some new insights on the role of women’s and men’s attitudes toward IPV and relationship power, including the role of partner discordance, in influencing women’s experience of IPV. Unlike most previous research in Tanzania, this study prospectively examined the relationship between attitudes about gender relations and IPV among young couples. The widespread acceptance of IPV and inequitable power within relationships in this population highlights the urgent need for programs that help young people acknowledge, understand and challenge gender-based hierarchies. Greater understanding of young people’s perceptions of “gender equity”—by focusing on women and men who do not condone IPV and who share power within their relationship—will facilitate the development of antiviolence programs. Furthermore, couple-based programs for HIV testing and treatment have been successful in sub-Saharan Africa and offer a foundation for antiviolence efforts [29]. The decline in women’s reports of IPV and the trend towards gender-equitable attitudes that we observed in the RESPECT study indicate that concerted efforts to reduce IPV and promote gender equity have the potential to make a positive difference in the relatively short term.




01. Organization Details:

a)      Name of the Organization                       : Social Mainstreaming for Gender Equality Organization– (SMGEO).

b)      Address                                                    :  P.O. Box  6444
  Fax & Phone: +255 753 599 827. E-mail:

 c)  Contact Person                                         : Mr Eric Samuel Kuhoga
                                                                          Charperson/Founder  of SMGEO
                                                                          Phone: +255 753 599 827  (Off), +255 717 720 676 (Res).
                                                                          Mobile +255 753 599 827
d) Legal Status of the Organization   :
i)        Registration Authority              :  Ministry of Community Development,Gender and Children                                                (MCDDGC)
ii)      Registration No                                    : 00NGO/00008106.
iii)    Date                                                     : 10.08.2015.
iv)    Registration Authority              : Non Government Organizations  Act .
: section 12(2) of Act no 24/2002

02. Background:         Social Mainstreaming for Gender Equality Organization (SMGEO) is a a Non Governiment Organization (National Level). It has bees established on 10th August, 2015 by United Republic of Tanzania under the Ministry of Community Development,Gender and Children(MCDGC) This is a National level Organizatin that have allowed to works its projects in Tanzania Mainland. A large and growing body of researches and gender projects has shown how gender inequality undermines health and development. To overcome gender inequality the United Nations Population Fund states that, “Women's empowerment and gender equality requires strategic interventions at all levels of programming and policy-making. These levels include reproductive health, economic empowerment, educational empowerment and political empowerment.

We, the undersigned of the present Constitution believe that gender discrimination and imbalance are the challenges that jeopardize the stability and wellbeing of the society in present and future generation, thus SMGEO as Non-Profit Organization are engaging to restore and promote equal integration of both male and female as well as disadvantages groups in the development projects for community benefit.

SMGEO was formed according to the willingness of the community people in a view to deal with the present socio-economic problems in different areas in Tanzania Mainland  by means of good understanding and sharing the problems each other and to find out the best way of solving the problems through free discussion in different projects  and people participation in the decision making and get-together under an umbrella of SMGEO Organization.

03. Year of Establishment: - SMGEO established in 2015.

04. Project Activities:  The SMGEO activities started from January,2015.

05. Vision, Mission and Goal:

5.1. Vision:    A society that upholds gender equality, dignity, respect and fairness for all in order to meet socio-economic development.

5.2: Mission Statement:
Effectively and efficiently to promote gender equality and freedom from discrimination and segregation of all persons (male and female) in the society in general.

5.3: Goal: To increase engagement of grassroots women and other marginalized groups with gender transformation and social justice issues informed by the transformative feminist agenda

      6. Local Contract Point:

          SMGEO Central Office :   CCM MAFIGA WARD, Opposite  Vijana Social Hall,
Morogoro Town, Western Sabasaba Ground in Morogoro Municipality

   7.Statement of Believe

The Organization affirms hereafter that:
Equality for male and female as well as disadvantaged groups in whole process of development in the society. Meaning to say “Without Gender equality no development”,
     i.            Achievement of equality in the society needs facilitation and awareness majority on real means of gender and it’s aspects in the society
   ii.            Cultural norms and practices that mostly practiced in our society should be looked in order to analyze tradition practices that bar equal participation in whole process of development,

8.Branch Office-Currently SMGEO Has no branches .

9. Objectives  of the Organization:

By virtue of the Organization’s purpose and statement of belief set forth herein, the Organization’s objectives shall be:
                                i.            To raise  awareness, understanding and knowledge on health  on various diseases including HIV/AIDS  and other STD’s  as well as other diseases affecting Tanzanians people in general in their respectively areas.
                              ii.            Preservation of environment from destruction and the use of other sources like biogas for domestic activities.
                            iii.            To conduct demonstration to address various matters pertaining in the society like gender violence’s
                            iv.            To make socio-economic researches and analysis for community development benefit.
                              v.            To promote Good Agricultural Practices (GAP’s) in all types of agriculture.
                            vi.            To create programmes of facilitating and evaluation of Gender Based Violence to the community
                          vii.            Establishment of social services centers like schools, hospitals and orphan’s centers to meet Tanzania Development Vision  2025 as well as International Development Vision
                        viii.            To create and establish theatre/ Artisans group that shall promote gender equality, dignity and influence socio- economic development in the community.

10. Purpose of Organization

The purpose of this Organization shall be:
        i.            To provide teachings and information that promotes equal integration of both male and female as well as disadvantaged groups including Blind, Cripple, Albinisms, and Deaf in the whole process of development.
      ii.            To help society & individuals willing to make equal opportunity in ownership, access and control.
    iii.            To create employment through projects established by Organization including agricultural and entrepreneurial activities established by organization.
    iv.            To propagate notions that promotes gender relation in the community.
      v.            To provide facts that reveal actual situation of gender issues on the society and it\s impact to the society
    vi.            To promote sustainable use of environments through a forestation and re-afforestation program by integration for both male and female in the community.
  vii.            To create harmony and sense of belongingness for both in the community.
viii.            To restore the image of gender and it’s perception in the society.
    ix.            To promote gender awareness in the society within the society.
      x.            To provide necessary knowledge on the issues of facts on Gender matters within the society.


Nature of Staff
Number of Staff


General  Secretary


Full time
Project Manager

Full time
Field Workers Volunteers
Part time

Voluntary Service



Good governance  Training
SMGEO and Dira Thietre Organization

Gender Equality issues
SMGEO and Community

Primary and Secondary School-Gender Awareness
Mpola Singida,Ngerengere Morogoro and Kigwe Dodoma
SMGEO,Dira Organization and Community


                                                                                    Project Cycle Management.


a. Budgeting
b. Logical 
c. Strategy
d. Monitoring
e. Evaluation
f. Audit
- Resources
- EC
- Grassroots People
- Rules an regulations
- Organization 
- Language
- Skills & 
- Logistic
- People
- Working area
- Communication
- Regional Council
  & Support
- Local Leaders
-Mass people support
- Season
- Unrest Political 
- Local
- Limitation of fund
-  Impose of Project 
- Needed Training
  on P.P Writing
- Good relationship
   with local
- Keep relationship
   with local & other

Project Implementation
a.Fund processing
b. Baseline survey
c. Staff Recruitment
d. Orientation
e. Selection of 
f. Training
g. Materials
h. Supervision &
i. Reporting
j. Evaluation
k. Audit
-  Project
   Committee (PIC)
- Executive
-Internal Evaluation

- Coordination
- Technical
- PIC & EC
- Govt. 
- Cooperation
   between all
   member bodies and workers of the Organization
- Relationship with other Local NGO’s
- Delay of
   permission from
   the Govt.
- Delay of fund
   issue from Donors and fellow members
- Unseasoned
   of  the Project
- Political unrest
- Unavailability of
- Optimum
- Cross visit
   excursion trip
   within the country or outside the country






Funded agency

1.Gender issues awareness. for women and men in a selected wards in rural areas
2. Training for Theatre groups about gender issues in general
3.establishement of students gender groups in primary and secondary schools
4. establishment  gender special committees in wards that dealing with gender issue
5.Women empowerment
6.Gender Based Violence
8 Gender mainstreaming in socio-economic  and political issues
9.Gender Based Violence


This Project is funded and implemented by SMGEO through lead SMGEO,DIRA and . This project will be going on up-to December 2020 (for 5 years)

“On-going Project”

2.Promotion & Strengthening of Good Governance in Ngerengere Morogoro
1. Baseline survey 
2. Staffs Recruitment
3. Training for Staffs Members.
4. Training for Theatre groups
5. Day Observation.
6. Training for Volunteers.
7. Technical Support
8. Support for 5 field Workers and one part-time  Accountant

This Project is funded and implemented by SMGEO through lead SMGEO and DIRA. This project will be going on up-to December 2016 (for 1 years)

“On-going Project”