PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has called on women to join forces to ensure a woman is elected as President of Tanzania in the 2025 General Election.
President Samia recalled that her ascendancy into power was by God's will and more so, by virtue of the country's Constitution and that women should work hard to ensure that a woman candidate wins the election in 2025.
She made the statement in Dar es Salaam yesterday at an event to mark the International Day of Democracy themed: 'Ajenda ya Mwanamke ni Turufu ya Ushindi' literally translated as 'A Woman's Agenda is Trump Card for a Victory'.
The president's remarks were greeted with a thunderous applause and ululations from the gathering, which packed the Diamond Jubilee Hall to the brim.
The attendees, mostly women, sang and danced to praise and symbolise their confidence in President Samia.
"As women, we played a pivotal role in ensuring that we had a female Vice-President, but getting here (to the president's throne) would be quite tough if it weren't for God's grace. If we put in the effort, we will have a female president in 2025," she said.
She added: "If the grace of God comes into your hands, do not let it go, women, we have played a crucial role in fighting for freedom and building the politics of this county, and it is about time we cash in on this opportunity." President Samia reiterated her pledge to appoint more women to positions of leadership, in a bid to attain 50-50 gender parity in various leadership roles.
That has been reflected in her appointments, with women accounting for 46 per cent of Administrative Secretaries, 43 per cent of Judges, 44 per cent of District Commissioners and 30 per cent of ministers.
"The government will work to address women's rights and gender equality to promote democracy in the country, including implementing the Third National Five-year Development Plan (FYDP III) 2021/22 - 2025/26, the Beijing Declaration and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)," she noted.
In marking the Day, the Tanzania Women Cross Party (TWCP) - Ulingo platform presented President Samia with an award as a sign of the victory of Tanzanian women. TWCP National Coordinator, Dr Ave Maria Semakafu, lauded President's leadership, expressing satisfaction with the tangible actions taken to guarantee that Tanzania achieves gender parity.
"Within your first 100 days as president, you have been able to pick several young women who have demonstrated their leadership abilities," she reflected on President Samia's presidency.
President Samia took oath of office, becoming Tanzania's first female president on March 19, 2021 following the passing on of her predecessor Dr John Magufuli.
Dr Semakafu said in both private and public spheres, women face occupational segregation, and multiple barriers-such as lack of access to land, capital, financial resources and technology, as well as gender-based violence-because of cultural mindsets and stereotypes.
"These barriers make it more difficult for women to compete equally with males in the workplace or politics. Legal impediments exacerbate gender disparities," she said.
UN Women Deputy Representative, Ms Julia Broussard said to have a democratic society, the decisions that are taken must involve women.
"Women's inclusion at all levels of decision-making is a crucial indicator of a maturing democracy such as Tanzania," she said.
Furthermore, she said research has shown that having more women in leadership positions not only benefits women but society as a whole; it leads to more gender-responsive policies and budgets, more peaceful and inclusive societies, and more resources allocation.
Ms Broussard said the presence of more women leaders also has the potential of changing patriarchal mindsets, increasing the number of women leaders in many areas beyond politics and the public service.
In 2007 the United Nations General Assembly resolved to observe 15 September as the International Day of Democracy-with the purpose of promoting and upholding the principles of democracy-and invited all member states and organizations to commemorate the day in an appropriate manner that contributes to raising public awareness.