"The situation of women has changed"

Committed and friendly. Claudia Zeising and Melania Mrema Kyando, who died in 2021. Photo: Nicholas Calvin Mwakatobe.

"It was important for me to ask the women what they want and what they expect from me." - this was the approach she took to her work in Tanzania in 2009, says Claudia Zeising in an interview on the website of the Evangelical Mission Worldwide, the umbrella organization of Protestant mission agencies in Germany associated with Mission 21.

When she started out in Tanzania, she found difficult conditions. Women have equal rights under the law. In social reality, however, it is mostly men who rule over women. Tanzania is strongly patriarchal, says Zeising in the interview, and this is even stronger in rural areas than in the city.

Strengthening self-esteem

In an exciting conversation, the 66-year-old agricultural specialist and experienced expert in women's work tells how she has persistently supported and strengthened women in rural Rungwe. This work has only been successful, she emphasizes, thanks to the collaboration with local pastor Melania Mrema Kyando. The latter died in July 2021 after a long illness.

Claudia Zeising is retired, but she is pleased to see that the joint work has borne fruit. She says, "The situation of the women has really changed." She sees more women with self-confidence and a strengthened sense of self-worth in Tanzania today. But she also knows that "further development takes time." Supporting women's work in Tanzania is therefore still important.

► Read the interview on mission-weltweit.de

► Learn more about Mission 21's work in Tanzania

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