Tanzania Making Strides in Women Representation

By Katare Mbashiru, AllAfrica.com

TANZANIA is leading in the East African Community (EAC) member states for having a good number of women representations in various leadership positions, according to statistics from the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU).

Although the country is yet to attain the envisaged 50/50 threshold, Tanzania Gender Network Program (TGNP) Mtandao is happy that the number of women in leadership position is convincing, although more needs to be done to attain gender parity.

Speaking at a Women Leadership Summit 2018, TGNP Mtandao Executive Director, Lilian Liundi said worldwide Tanzania was at position 25 with 36.9 percent of women parliamentarians, while Rwanda which was top in the list had 61.3 percent. She was however quick to point out that it was dismaying to see political parties that in the real sense were supposed to have women representation, are still lagging behind on putting trust on women.

According to the TGNP boss, there is no single woman at the position of chairpersons of all registered political parties, adding that of all 38 vice chairpersons of political parties, only four parties out of 19 had women on that position.

“It is in the public knowledge that Tanzania ratified the international and regional protocols and conventions including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948, The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the SADC Gender and Development Protocol,” she said.

According to Ms Liundi, Africa was losing US Dollars 105 million every year for failing to engage women in economic activities. Statistics in Tanzania indicate that 70 percent of small scale farmers are women, and it is this number that feeds the entire country’s population. At the summit, Principal of Mkwawa University College of Education, Professor Bernadetha Kilian, said the number of women in the judiciary was convincing, where 47 percent of the judges of the high court are women.

In her presentation on the overview of women and leadership in Tanzania, Prof Kilian said a survey that was conducted countrywide found out that of all the 3,946 elected councillors countrywide, only 240 were women, an equivalent of 5.2 percent.

TGNP Mtandao convened women at a summit themed: ‘Celebrating and Recognising Her Leadership on the Surface and Behind the Curtain’ which according to the Executive Director aimed at making assessment on advice and mentorship that would increase the number of women in various leadership positions.

“Taking into consideration the principle of Sustainable Development Goals, this summit has considered participation of people from all generations and geographical locations in order to bring a fruitful debate,” she said.