WOMEN rights activists have launched a project aimed at encouraging more women to grab leadership positions.
The project, titled 2020/2023 ‘Strengthen Women-In-Leadership (SWIL),’ is expected to reach at least 6,000 women by 2023 by addressing barriers to women’s leadership.
The activists cited male dominance, ignorance, laws and traditions/customs as the main obstacles to women rising to top positions in leadership at different levels in society, corporations and politics.
The project is being implemented by the Zanzibar Female Lawyers Association (ZAFELA) with support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Dar es Salaam.
Ms Khairat Mohamed and Ms Jamila Mahmoud Juma from ZAFELA joined Ms Salma Ameir Lusangi from Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA) at a press conference held in the Mpendae area to announce various strategies under the project which will help to address the challenges.
“The goal is fair representation of women within corporations, politics, professions, religious organizations, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and even in sports. Many women are now capable of holding various positions in society,” said Ms Juma.
She said that strategies to overcome the barriers to women leadership include capacity building of at least 60 NGOs so that they can advocate for women to take part in politics and leadership without fear, organize forums on public awareness on the importance of women in leadership and decision-making bodies.
ZAFELA has also identified gaps in some laws that hinder women in leadership such as law governing education, election, political parties, public service and ‘Anti-corruption and Economic Crimes Act’ that need reform to accommodate more women in leadership.
“We have begun the project by training 60 people dubbed ‘community brigades’ picked from NGOs from three regions of Unguja Island to advocate for women leadership.
She said that the project launch will be done in three regions- Mjini-Magharibi, North Unguja, and South Unguja, on 5, 11 and 18 this month respectively.
ZAFELA is non-profit organization established in 2003 and officially registered in 2005 aiming at, among others, ensuring that women and children are no longer victims of any form of violence.