Every Saturday Baraka Joel, a staff attorney for Inherit Your Rights, hosts a popular radio show in Arusha, “Siku Mpya” or “New Day”. He fields live questions from callers like, “will my wife respect me less if she opens her own business?” and “what is the best way to discipline my unruly child?”. Baraka helps these callers, and thousands of local listeners, reconcile cultural norms passed down from generations of tribal elders with Tanzania’s modern expectations for its citizens. “People in Arusha and its surrounding villages are not always aware that some of their cultural practices are going against human rights guaranteed in the Constitution of Tanzania,” says Baraka, “when citizens lack this awareness they are not able to change the culture."
The most recent episode of “Siku Mpya” featured an overview of the human rights guaranteed to every Tanzanian citizen, including the right for women to own property. “Women have a lot of property in Tanzania,” Baraka reports, “but they are traditionally not considered owners.” Inherit Your Rights seeks to change this through popular education opportunities such as “Siku Mpya”. When women gain legal rights to their property they can live without fear of eviction or hunger. “A widow with rights to her property can plant, she can harvest, she can eat and feed her children,” emphasizes Baraka, “that is life!”
You can tune in to “Siku Mpya” every Saturday morning at 9 AM on Sunrise 94.9 FM and hear more stories from community members around Arusha who are making a new day with equal rights for all.