Academic Courses

ANT 390/WGS 385 (special topics): Women's Rights, Violence, and Development in Tanzania

Dr. Natalie J. Bourdon (Bourdon_nj@mercer.edu)

This course introduces students to women’s legal rights in Tanzania in the post-colonial period. This class will examine a rights-based approach to development in which Tanzanian women’s rights NGOs have used international human rights laws and conventions to advocate for Tanzanian women’s rights.  Specifically, students will learn how domestic violence legislation in Tanzania relates to development.

IGS 380 (special topics): Health and Development in Tanzania

Dr. Amy Nichols-Belo (Nichols-Belo_a@mercer.edu)

This interdisciplinary course will examine and analyze the roles of history, culture, politics, economics, and environment in shaping gender and health in Tanzania. This course will include an in-depth study of traditional and biomedical healing systems and Tanzania’s disease burden especially with respect to sexual and reproductive health. Approaches to development in Tanzania will be presented, analyzed, and discussed.



  • Natalie J. Bourdon, Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies and Anthropology
  • Amy Nichols-Belo, Assistant Professor of International and Global Studies and Anthropology

Program Highlights

Service Project Description:

In 2023, we will partner with Hakizetu (www.Hakizetu.org), a Tanzanian non-governmental organization focused on women’s empowerment and the prevention of gender-based violence, teen pregnancy, and early marriage. While Hakizetu works in a variety of community-based settings, we have been asked to support two initiatives:

  1. Working to review, update, and expand their gender violence prevention curriculum for secondary and university students
  2. Host a peer-to-peer workshop or workshops with secondary and university students in collaboration with Hakizetu

Our program will be held in Mwanza, Tanzania’s second largest city. Located on the shores of Lake Victoria, Mwanza is a vibrant, safe, mid-sized city. In addition to our programmatic work, students will have the opportunity to learn and practice basic Kiswahili in Mwanza’s markets, try delicious food, visit rock formations, learn about Kisukuma culture, and experience at least one of Tanzania’s world famous national parks.

Program Dates (Tentative):

Pre-departure classes May 15 to May 26

Travel: ~May 29-June 20 (final dates to be announced in Spring 2023)

Contact Information


For more information, e-mail MercerOnMission@mercer.edu or call (478) 301-2992.