AS election campaign for the upcoming general election continues across the country, leaders at all levels have been urged to team up with members of the public to vote for women so that they can be included in political decision making.
Main speakers at the ‘Inter-Religious Committee for Peace Tanzania’ meeting on “promoting women participation in politics and peaceful elections,” pointed out the importance of gender equality in democracy building.
Citing some verses in Holy Books of Quran (Muslims) and Bible (Christians), Sheikh Alhad Mussa Salum- chairperson of the committee explained how both religions respect women development, including leadership and participation in decision-making bodies.
“It is wrong to have the perception that religions prohibit women from being leaders. Let us promote them,” Salum said at the meeting held at Zanzibar Beach Resort Hotel, Mbweni area.
Bishop Michael Hafidh from the Anglican Church also put emphasis on the issue.
He emphasized that women have a right to engage in all activities, including civil society and in elections, and should be elected to government offices to make their voices heard in any process that will ultimately affect them, their families, and their communities.
Dr Rose Reuben, the Director General of Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA) challenged political leaders that investing in women’s right to political participation is a necessary step to achieving gender equality and democratic governance.
She drummed for promotion of women in leadership and decisionmaking roles at all levels, including at peace negotiation tables and in humanitarian emergencies, as the Regional Commissioner (RC) for Mjini-Magharib, Mr Hassan Khatib Hassan commended the meeting organisers for the meeting aimed at promoting women.
“I think such meeting would have happened before election period started so that political leaders and candidates are reminded at the right time. However, it is still valid to campaign for women rights,” Mr Hassan said.
The meeting was organised by the ‘Inter-Religious Committee for Peace Tanzania,’ in collaboration with TAMWA, with support from the Global Peace Foundation Tanzania, and the African Women Development Fund, and Women in Law & Development in Africa (WILDAF) Tanzania.