Making Women Development Fund More Care-Responsive

Published on 1 November 2017

The Women Development Fund (WDF) was established by the Government of Tanzania in 1992, with the objective to support the economic empowerment of women, and especially rural women. This note discusses the main findings of research in relation to the care-sensitivity of the WDF.

The research was undertaken by the Institute of Development Studies and BRAC Research and Evaluation Unit, and implemented in Korogwe and Lushoto districts. The research hypothesis argues that taking unpaid care work into account in women’s economic empowerment (WEE) policies and programmes has the potential to significantly strengthen the empowering outcomes of women’s participation in paid work. This would therefore turn a ‘double burden’ into a ‘double boon’ – i.e. paid work that empowers women and provides more support for their unpaid care work responsibilities.

The note provides a set of recommendations to the WDF on how to mainstream unpaid care work into women’s economic empowerment (WEE) programming, which include: providing a convenient platform for engaging with issues related to the reduction and redistribution of unpaid care work; exchanging lessons learned and best practices, and establishing synergies with other like-minded programmes active in Tanzania; lobbying for increasing the government’s investment in public services and better infrastructure; and expanding women’s access to markets and finance.

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Zambelli, E. and Müller, C. (2017) Making Women Development Fund More Care-Responsive, Programmatic Note. Brighton. IDS

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Zambelli, E., Müller, C.


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