THE United Nations has commended Union President Samia Suluhu Hassan and her Zanzibar counterpart Hussein Mwinyi, for their commendable commitment in ensuring more women get leadership roles at all levels.
UN Women Country Representative to Tanzania Ms Hodan Addou said here over the weekend, at the official opening of the four-day training on 'Transformational leaderships and Violence-Against-Women-Politicians (VAWP)' for members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives (UWAWAZA).
"Tanzania, and indeed Zanzibar have made great progress towards increasing women's participation in decision-making... this is commendable," she said.
She reminded participants, most of them new women leaders, that on several occasions, President Samia has committed to advance gender equality and appoint more women to leadership positions, and that her commitment has been echoed by Dr Mwinyi, who has also appointed a good number of women in his government.
Ms Addou told the gathering that studies have shown that when women are empowered as political leaders it leads to more gender-responsive policies and budgets, with countries experiencing higher standard of living, and more resources allocated to social services including health, education and community development.
"Furthermore, the increased visibility of women in public life has the potential of changing patriarchal mindsets, creating greater opportunities for women to occupy leadership spaces beyond politics and the public service," the UN Women senior officer said.
She said that in Zanzibar, UN Women has been implementing the women's leadership and political participation programme dubbed 'Wanawake Wanaweza' phase II from 2018 to 2021, which aims to support the government of Tanzania's efforts to ensure women lead and participate in decision-making at all levels.
Ms Addou further said that for women to be effective representatives, they must clearly understand the functions of the legislature, and they must learn the rules of the game, therefore, continuous support, training and advice is required.
The training also focused on addressing violence against women in politics.
Officiating the opening of the training, the Zanzibar Speaker of the House of Representatives Mr Zubeir Ali Maulid thanked the UN Women for the crucial training in capacity building in leadership, which will enable women leaders, particularly the female representatives to perform better, including having confidence in speaking in the House.
Chairperson, UWAWAZA Dr Saada Mkuya Salum thanked the UN Women and facilitators from the Department of Political Science and Public Administration (PSPA) of the University of Dar es Salaam for helping to ensure that the current UWAWAZA members are better positioned to carry out their functions effectively.