FIRST Lady mama Salma Kikwete has been awarded the Global Inspirational Leadership Award, for her exemplary work in fighting for women in the country.
Mama Salma was given the award by the Centre for Economic and Leadership Development while attending the African Middle East and Asia Women Summit held in Dubai recently.
Mama Salma noted that the era where women would keep quiet about Gender Based Balance (GBV) to protect their spouses is gone, adding that once an abusive spouse is reported to proper authorities and they are punished, they will never repeat the abuses again.
"Someone who loves you should not beat you, but he should protect you and your children," she explained adding that the sad thing is that even women who are highly educated go through GBV silently.
She stressed that remaining silent might results in bad consequences, including death and living children in worse situations. "There is no sustainable development in any country without the participation of women, but women must get educated,. Women can if we plan well," she explained.
The First lady advocated for love and cooperation among women, noting the notion that a woman's worst enemy is the women themselves is wrong, "a woman's friend is the women themselves."
She thanked her husband, president Jakaya Kikwete for support and advice while trying to help women access their rights under WAMA. She said the Global Inspirational Leadership Award brings global respect to her and women in the country for the efforts extended to helping women.
She attributed her award to all the women in the country and all Tanzania in general. The Global Inspirational Leadership Award was given to three first ladies in Africa, apart from Mama Salma Kikwete, the other two are, Burundi First Lady and Namibia First Lady.
In Asia it was awarded to the wife of the Malaysian Prime Minister and from Middle East it was awarded to the president 'Federation of Business Women' (Shirikisho la Wafanyabiashara Wanawake).
She explained that Tanzania is one of the country's that has made strides towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). "One of the main objective is attaining gender equality and control GBV .
Government's efforts and other stakeholders has helped many girls access secondary education and has also reduced the wide gap between girls and boys in secondary school," she explained.
She underscored the importance of education as the main tool that will enable women in Tanzania, Africa and the world in general forge ahead and get into decision making positions.