Existence and Implications of Women Who Have Sex with Women in Tanzania: A Public Health Perspective


  •   Switbert R. Kamazima

  •   Happiness P. Saronga

  •   Jackline V. Mbishi

  •   Saidah M. Bakar

  •   Saumu K. Shabani

  •   Beatrice R. Stanslaus


Women who engage in sexual activities with other women are known existing in all societies around the globe. However, the understanding of the size, trends and implications of female same sex behaviors and practices is generally lacking and vary within and among many countries including Tanzania. As a result, there is limited understanding of the public health importance of this group, which is often cited as the reason for not investing in work targeted at women who have sex with women and other minority groups in the country. It is from this perspective, that we conducted a formative qualitative study that aimed at, among other objectives, to establish the existence of women who have sex with women and the magnitude of female same sex behaviors and practices in Tanzania using a case study of the Dar-es-Salaam administrative region. Our findings prove that women who have sex with women exist mainly in urban areas in the country and for several reasons, their number is perceived rapidly increasing. We recommend further multidisciplinary (public health) research among women who have sex with women in the country to facilitate the availability of comprehensive and informative data on this population group.

Keywords: Women who have sex with women, same sex behaviors, same sex practices, female same sex, sexuality, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania


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How to Cite
Kamazima, S. R., Saronga, H. P., Mbishi, J. V., Bakar, S. M., Shabani, S. K., & Stanslaus, B. R. (2021). Existence and Implications of Women Who Have Sex with Women in Tanzania: A Public Health Perspective. European Journal of Medical and Health Science, 3(2), 87-92. https://doi.org/10.24018/ejmed.2021.3.2.750