MikonoYetu is raising funds to open a women’s museum to empower women and girls through history and education. The ‘MikonoYetu Women’s Museum Project’ will showcase key issues relating to gender equality in both present and past African societies, as well as highlight the strength and power that lies within women. Through stories of historical women, traditional dress, traditional culture and food and highlighting progressive laws in Tanzania aiming to improve women’s rights within the country, the Women’s Museum will aim to stand as a resource for community members while also empowering women and girls to claim their heritage and rights. For example, Queen Leti of Singida fought against German colonization.
Stories of Historical Women: The museum will tell the stories of powerful African women who held positions of Queens, warriors and decision makers throughout history. They were not held back because of their gender, but instead used their strength as females to make a powerful statement to the people of their time. Examples of these women include Yaa Asantewa, Queen Nzinga, Queen Tiye, Margaret Ekpo, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, Bibi Titi Mohammed, Queen Amina of Zaria, as well as many female chiefs, women warriers of Dahomey and princesses.
Traditional Dress: The museum will also showcase the traditional dress of Tanzania and East Africa, including the khanga, a cotton material often designed with bright colours and designs. It can be worn as a skirt, over clothing and even used to carry children on their mothers' backs. It is often used in artwork, or for home decoration on walls or table cloths.
Traditional Culture: The museum would like to show the role of women in Tanzanian culture throughout history, as well as in present day. This includes their access to land rights, their role in the family and in their community, and freedom to express sexuality.
Traditional Food: The museum will serve traditional African food for its patrons. This will give visitors the opportunity to sample authentic cuisine, while also providing women with employment opportunities .
Tanzanian Law: The museum wishes to highlight and emphasize progressive laws Tanzania has adopted, which aim to improve women's rights within the country. This includes the parliamentary seating, in which women composes 30.4% seats.
The updates to the marriage contract laws have benefited women by:
Outlining a wife's right to ownership over all properties she acquired before and during marriage
Regularization of divorce procedure and provision for the maintenance of divorced wives
Wife's permission to be registered in court, before a husband can marry a new wife.
Minimum age of marriage: 15 women, 18 men
Consent of both parties to the marriage
The Law of Child Act, was adopted by Tanzania in 2009 to protect the rights of Tanzanian children under 18
International Community: The museum will also showcase Tanzania's participation in the international community in efforts to recognize women's rights. For example, the museum will discuss Tanzania's role in the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979), the Convention on the Political Rights of Women (1952) and the Millennium Declaration and Development Goals (2015).
HIV/AIDS: Tanzania ranks fourth in the world for deaths related to AIDS; this is largely due to a lack of education surrounding the virus and preventative measures of contraction. The disease is an important factor in the process of educating and empowering women in order to best support their rights and justice, so the museum will also educate on the importance of HIV/AIDS awareness in the past and current times.