SEVERAL women in the country have commended President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s exemplary leadership, which is aimed at strengthening democracy, peace and harmony.
In honour of International Women’s Day (IWD), they stated that Dr Samia illustrates that mothers are capable of nurturing as well as leading.
The Coordinator of the Counseling Unit at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Dr Bernadetha Rushahu, commented that as President Samia marks two years in office, women have been proud to have her in a high leadership role in the country.
“We are also proud of her decision to enhance democracy in the country. Despite the differences in ideologies, we were delighted to see her attending the IWD commemoration organised by Chadema women’s wing (BAWACHA). This demonstrates her tenacity and political maturity over the past two years,” said Dr Rushahu.
According to Dr Rushahu, the BAWACHA event was historic, considering the fact they invited President Samia as chief guest. Furthermore, her desire to seek reconciliation within political parties demonstrate that there is democracy.
“Regardless of political or religious beliefs, she has demonstrated the role of a woman in society, which is to care about and listen to the numerous concerns impacting Tanzanians,” she noted.
Increasing the proportion of girls to boys from primary school to university, she added, has been another area President Samia has focused on. Classrooms have been built and there is also the Samia Scholarship, so she has continued to empower every group in the nation.
Dr Rushahu said services such as in hospitals and health centres have increased, lending to women has also increased and insisted on the establishment of gender desks in universities to be able to deal with issues of gender violence.
Salma Fundi, Chief Coordinator of the Women’s Committee of the Workers’ Union of Higher Education Institutions, described Dr Samia as a courageous woman leader because when she became president, some people were skeptical of her abilities.
“People looked at her as a woman and assumed she would stumble, but she has evolved differently and managed and everything is going well,” said Ms Fundi. “She took over the nation while it had severe economic challenges and a number of strategic projects were going on
“President Samia is a leader who considers the welfare of the community and she chose to establish a specific ministry to handle women’s affairs and community development,” she said.
The uniqueness of President Samia’s government budget, which was designed with a concept of lowering spending was another area, according to Ms Fundi, that deserves acknowledgement.
Ms Fundi said from the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing until now there are significant cultural, political and economic changes.
“Politically, before Beijing, women were far behind in politics and were not given high leadership positions, now even men’s mentality has changed, women are given high leadership positions regardless of their gender,” she remarked.
Dr Delfina Mkenda – a Gynecologist and Obstetrics specialist from the Maternal Unit of Meta Regional Referral Hospital said IWD was an important day for every woman worldwide.
She said, “we are appreciative of the efforts made by the sixth phase government in allocating funding for the building of a new maternity wing, which will benefit many pregnant women and lower the rate of maternal and new born mortality,”
Special Seats Member of Parliament (CCM), Neema Lugangira said for the past two years, Dr Samia has strengthened economic diplomacy, democracy, criminal justice system, social services, investment, digital development and recognition of the Non-Government Organisation (NGO) sector.
IWD is a global holiday celebrated annually on March 8 as a focal point in the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights and violence and abuse against women.