Tanzania: Give Women a Chance, Political Candidates Told

AS election campaigns for the upcoming General Election continue across the country, candidates vying for various posts have been advised to refrain from insulting women who run for political positions.

The advice was issued by several speakers at the 'Interreligious Committee for Peace Tanzania' meeting on promoting women participation in politics and peaceful election.

Chairperson of the committee, Sheikh Alhad Mussa said male candidates should avoid using abusive language against women, and instead give them a chance because they have a right to engage in all activities in the country, including the election.

"Women are capable of holding high posts, using bad language towards those who are contesting is a great sin. The Quran and the Bible also portray female leadership, this demonstrates God's approval of women leaders," he said at the meeting held in Dar es Salaam.

Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA) Executive Director, Dr Rose Reuben also emphasized the issue.

"It is important for the National Election Committee (NEC) and security organs to take action against all people who use abusive language toward female candidates during the campaigns," she insisted.

Despite efforts to place women in decision making organs, Dr Reuben said violence against women in politics was a violation of human rights, which hinders women's political participation.

Expounding further, she said women who vie for political positions in the country usually face several challenges during campaigns and while conducting their political duties, which acts as a catalyst of demoralizing them.

According to the UN Women, as of February 2019, only 24.3 per cent of all national parliamentarians were women, a slight increase from 11.3 per cent in 1995, and as of June 2019, 11 women are serving as Heads of State and 12 are serving as Heads of Government.

Chadema Women's Wing (BAWACHA) Chairperson, Halima Mdee said the global fight to promote women's equal participation in decision- making and to end all forms of violence against women was receiving unprecedented attention.

"The main challenge is that there is no political will to give women leadership positions, most parties are maledominated at higher levels," she noted.

Ms Mdee said there was no miracle in elevating a woman if the decision-makers would not do anything so they must be provided with an enabling environment for them to take part in politics.

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