The Tanzania Girl Guides Association is one of the Member Organisations taking part in our new Nutrition Programme

About Tanzania

The United Republic of Tanzania consists of Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar Island. The national language is Swahili, but English is also widely used.

About girls in Tanzania

Most girls in Tanzania go to primary school, but fewer girls can read and write compared to boys. The majority of girls aged between 15 and 19 do not complete secondary education. 

There are many reasons for this - girls often have to take part in housework, farm activities and manual work. Early marriage and other cultural beliefs about women’s roles also limit girls' access to education.

Despite girls in Tanzania being involved in various economic activities at a very early age, their earnings are lower than boys'. Around half of girls aged 15 to 19 are employed - mostly in agriculture or other manual work. 

Tanzania - photos provided for NI launch

#didyouknow the total area in Tanzania dedicated to wildlife and national parks is larger than the size of Germany!


What do girls eat in Tanzania? 

Tanzania’s stable foods are maize, beans and rice. The majority of tribes in Tanzania consider these to be traditional foods. Rice is eaten on special occasions.

The role of food preparation is a task for the girls and women in families. Specific food preparation differs depending on family customs. 

Only a few girls from wealthy families get to eat balanced meals every day. For the majority of girls, food is eaten based on availability. 

Breakfast normally consists of food made of white flour like chapati or maandazi (doughnut) with tea. In urban areas girls prefer to have chipsi (French fries) for lunch or samosas as a snack while in rural areas girls eat Makande (beans and maize) or Ugali with stew. For dinner, most families will again eat rice or Ugali. 

In the cities, girls and their families purchase food from local markets. In rural areas girls eat food grown on their family farms.

Nutrition in Tanzania

Poor nutrition remains a critical developmental challenge in Tanzania, with girls experiencing a range of malnutrition challenges including eating too little and not eating enough vitamins and minerals. 

Adolescent girls are more likely to be undernourished than adult women. They are more likely to be thinner than any other age groups. 

Almost half of children under five do not eat enough Vitamin A, which can lead to night blindness.

Girls’ vulnerability to child marriage, early motherhood and limited educational and employment opportunities also puts them at higher risk of suffering from malnutrition. 

In rural areas, women are less involved in decision making and are less of a priority for household food distribution exposing them to risk of not accessing healthy food. 

If there is no improvement in the nutrition situation by 2025, Tanzania’s estimated economic productivity losses will total some US$20 billion. Addressing nutrition issues and inequality is therefore of vital importance for girls, and for the Nation at large.

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