Women encouraged to take part in leadership

DAR ES SALAAM: WOMEN in Tanzania have been encouraged to participate fully in leadership positions from the local government levels so as to be part of the change they want to see in the community.
This was said at an open dialogue on women’s safe space, which focused on leadership organised by the Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP) in collaboration with the United Nations Women (UN Women) to encourage women’s participation in leadership.
The dialogue included testimonies from different female local leaders who narrated their leadership journeys to encourage their fellow women to take a chance in different local government positions.
Opening the dialogue, TGNP Executive Director Ms Lilian Luindi said that women are the ones who work hard in communities so being in leadership positions and being at the decision tables will help in solving many problems encountered by women directly.
“Recognising the importance and significant contribution of women, who constitute more than half of all Tanzanians (51.3 per cent according to the 2022 Census), to the country’s development, the government has signed various international and regional agreements that establish the foundations of human equality, including rights and equality in participation at all levels of leadership,” said Ms Liundi.
She said through the stories of other female leaders, women will get chances to understand the journey of leadership and possible means that they can use and believe that in this year and next year elections, women will take many chances.
Giving the data on female leaders she said: “In terms of elected Members of Parliament (MP), women make up 25 out of 264 MPs, which is only 9.5 per cent of all MPs. The number of women MPs in Special Seats is 113, which is equivalent to 29 per cent of all MPs. The total number of women MPs is 142, accounting for 37 per cent of the total number of MPs, which is 393.”
She added that the biggest challenges that face women to become leaders include customs and traditions that undermine women’s ability to be leaders and financial instabilities for a lot of women.
Giving her leadership journey testimony special seats councillor for Mtwara District, Ms Farida Abdalah Mohamed said that women should not give up when in the race to become leaders.
“We can become local leaders or even government leaders only if we don’t give up on the dream of becoming leaders, it has challenges but if as women stand together, we can make changes in our communities and help our fellow women into economic empowerment and development,” said Ms Mohamed.
The Facilitator of the dialogue, Mary Nsemwa said that learning from other women who succeeded in becoming leaders will help more women in Tanzania to dare to take chances and become leaders in their communities and national at large.

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