UN commends Tanzania for advancing women’s leadership

DAR ES SALAAM: THE United Nations (UN) yesterday said that Tanzania has made significant progress in the advancement of women’s leadership and political participation, saying there should be a legal framework to protect women in the future to attain 50/50 thresholds in leadership.

UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Zlatan Milišić made the statement during the UN Women and Tanzania Editors Forum (TEF) meeting held in Dar es Salaam.

The meeting coordinated by UN women   intended to provide findings and recommendations of the gender analysis of Election and Political Party Bills of 2023 to editors.

The Bills were tabled in Parliament on November10 last year.

“There is no doubt that Tanzania has made significant progress in the advancement of women’s leadership and political participation.

“First, as the only country in Eastern Africa to have a woman as Head of State, but also as one with a strong women representation in Parliament,” Mr Milišić asserted.

He noted that despite advancements made towards achieving 50/50 gender representation, the underrepresentation of women in leadership and decision-making roles remains low due to many factors, including gender gaps in laws and policies.

Expounding the status of women in leadership positions earlier, the UN Women Representative Ms Hodan Addou said although the country has made great strides, more work remains to be done.

 

“The representation of women in leadership positions at the local level is even lower, with only 2.7 per cent of Ward Council Chairpersons, 2.1 per cent of Women Village Chairpersons…

 

And 6.7 per cent of Women Hamlets’ Chairpersons being women, and Street Chairpersons is at 12.65 per cent, which is too far from achieving gender parity.

This shows that various efforts, including legislative reforms are necessary to promote women’s effective and meaningful participation in leadership and decision-making processes.”She added.

According to UN Women gender analysis presented by Dr Victoria Lihiru, there is small number and weak participation of women as leaders within political parties.

“In 19 registered political parties, women are 10.5 per cent of party’s chairpersons and Secretary Generals,” Dr Lihiru noted.

UN women recommended that section 6A (5) of the Political Parties Act, 2019 and Section 10C of the Political Parties Affairs Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023 should be amended to set the percentage and levels of women’s inclusion and special groups in political parties, especially in choosing leaders as well as members of the decision-making meetings.

She cited example of Rwanda whereby the political party has to ensure 30 per cent of its candidates are women.

In utilization of party resources, the UN Women recommended that 30 per cent of political party subsidies should be allocated to promote greater participation of women in politics and elections.

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