TAWLA and the Constitution Review Process



The Gender Forum on the Constitution (GFC) is a coalition of likeminded organizations which are multidisciplinary and professional in nature, working in the area of advocating for inclusion of gender and women rights in the Constitution Review Process.  The GFC activities are coordinated by the Tanzania Women Lawyers’ Association (TAWLA).  Organizations that form the coalition include TAWLA, Women and law in East Africa (Tanzania)-WLEA-T, a national NGO which is part of a religious. Research network on gender and law in East Africa; Right Action Watch (RAW), an NGO registered as a trust and concerned with effective implementation of the CEDAW and other international and regional human rights frameworks, Tanzania Gender Accountability (TAGA), a national NGO focusing on public accountability on gender.


The founding members of the coalition came together in February 2011 with the intention of addressing gender equality issues  in  the constitutional review process  in response to the President’s call for participation of all in the review processes and finally in the making of the  final  Constitution.



1. In November 2011 there was a Stakeholders meeting to discuss women’s participation in the Constitution Review to set the stage.

There was a need to promote and contribute to effort to ensure that women understand the relevance of our Constitution.

The meeting resolved to ensure that we have opportunity to meaningfully participate in the Constitution review process in Tanzania.


2. Comparative Study on Constitution in African countries, and especially those said to have gender responsive constitution such as South Africa, Uganda, Ghana, Rwanda and Kenya early, 2012.

  • We aimed at looking on best practices
  • opportunity used
  • lessons learnt
  • Not to reinvent the wheel and or repeat the same mistakes, optimize resources, learn best strategies, avoid unnecessary controversies


This comparative study led to identification of ten thematic areas which are:-


  1. Women’s access to land and property rights in the context of inheritance
  2. Supremacy of the Constitution, Equality and non discrimination
  3. Comprehensive protection of rights of women and children to ensure their dignity
  4. Women’s equal representation in decision-making bodies
  5. Good governance and accountability of government
  6. Integration of equity and equality principles throughout the Constitution
  7. Promotion and Protection of Marriage, Family and Social Welfare
  8. Institutional Framework for promotion, protection and monitoring of gender based rights
  9. Consumer rights protection

     10. Constitution making process enhancement


3. Piloted a civic education session on CBOs in Mwanza on Gender and Constitution review process

  • This aimed to raise awareness on gender issues among the participants so that they too can further educate others within their community.

Later on we reproduced the effects in Zanzibar, Lindi, Kilimanjaro and Dodoma.

  • Conducted a Stakeholders meeting with CSOs, CBOs and other groups
  • This was intended to ensure a replica effect over the issues, so that more

will be talking about the same issues and have same understanding of         priority issues


4. Submission of the Position paper to the Constitutional Review Commission  

  • issues on the position paper presented to the Commission
  • Made further awareness raising on Media for public generally


 5.    Sought Observer Status with the Constitutional Review Commission and send representatives in the proceedings managed by the Commission.


 6.    Stakeholders meeting particularly Councillors and CBOs in Zanzibar, Lindi, Kilimanjaro, Mwanza and Dar es Salaam.

  • This aimed toGet stakeholders informed on our PP and  Get stakeholders interests aroused on the Constitutional fora
  • Get stakeholders focused on important issues, instead of being in the politics quagmire and loose the opportunity


 7.    Created a Technical Committee consisting of 6 experts

  • To review the draft Constitution vis a vis the themes outlined in the position paper
  • Come up and highlight the gaps
  • Offer insights on how the provisions of the draft Constitution could be  gender responsive


 8.    Submitted our recommendation on the draft to the CRC



Please find here our Position Paper.