AMANDLA! VANGUARD EDITION
Juliana Laurent Masabo, Ph.D.
Judge, High Court of Tanzania (January 2019- Present)
Lecturer, University of Dar es Salaam School of Law (Formerly Faculty of Law), (2006 -Jan. 2019)
Associate Dean, University of Dar es Salaam School of Law (Formerly Faculty of Law), (2014 -2019)
My Story, Your Inspiration
Growing up in a rural setting where education for girls was not considered a priority fuelled my determination to be who I am today. When I joined my secondary school, my major preoccupation was none other than making my parents proud of their choice to defy the unsolicited adverse advice and mockery from friends and relatives. Later on, it turned into an interesting and successful journey.
At first, I had wanted to be a journalist, as that was the most familiar profession, in addition to teaching, nursing, and policing, for which I had no passion. Journalism would have also helped me report VAW cases, which were rampant in my locality. Having learned from friends that law provides a broader opportunity to fight injustices, I chose law and pursued it with a lot of dedication. The journey has not been easy. Tilting a balance between career and family life was and remains a great challenge. Having taught for many at the university and in my current capacity as a judge, I am comforted by the fact that I have a great opportunity to contribute to the fight against gender inequality and to inspire other women.
My advice to women in law is that, as a woman, you are prone to gender inequality and stereotypes. However, do not underestimate your abilities. Build a network of men and women of substance and surround yourself with people who can intellectually challenge you. Learn from other peoples’ experiences and do not make assumptions about how perfect everything is for other people. Aim high, trust your guts and instincts, and take the opportunities when they come your way.