Women should claim their space in elections, says minister Mhagama

14Jul 2020
The Guardian
Women should claim their space in elections, says minister Mhagama

MINISTER of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled, Jenista Mhagama has appealed to political parties not to engage women in dirty politics during campaigns for the October polls.

Speaking during a meeting convened by women leaders from different parties in the country, she argued that women are an important force that deserve respect and should not be wagged for cheap and selfish political gains.

The meeting that brought together women leaders was held to appreciate minister Mhagama   outstanding performance and cooperation with fellow women.

Mhagama, a long serving minister in both fifth and fourth phase governments warned the political parties not to use women members as agents of chaos during the campaigns and instead allow them to vie for higher positions of their choices.

“ Our aim is to inspire dialogue and to catalyse positive change toward more equitable and inclusive political processes. We believe that increasing marginalized people’s participation in politics and securing their access to public life is of particular importance to democratic development and sustainability.     Exploring ways in which peace building processes can be supported and strengthened to encourage greater participation and inclusion of marginalized people and minority groups.  We should strive  to promote participation and representation of women. We recognize that democratic reforms will be flawed if they exclude women from participating effectively.”

Mhagama added that political parties should give women equal opportunities just like male contestants to enable them climb to the leadership positions.

“Let us go and peacefully contest in elective positions knowing that women have equal leadership skills just as men” she said, adding that President John Magufuli has pledged a free and fair elections.

According to the minister, the National Electoral Council (NEC) is constitutionally a free institution working within the legal framework to provide credible elections.

She argued that sometimes women fail to work together. “Let us avoid divisive politics at party levels and work together to have national women leaders,” she noted.

Mhagama said it is the national agenda to fight any form of discrimination basing on religion, tribe and regional belonging, noting that political parties should have national representation.

The minister urged fellow women   to refrain from any form of corrupt activities

Speaking at the same meeting Registrar of Political Parties, Judge Francis Mutungi called on women to join the fight for elective positions freely and peacefully because it is their constitutional right.

“ We are going to the general elections with the aim to win and my plea is that you be the peace agents during the campaigns, election day and even after,” he said, noting that Tanzania has all along been known for peaceful polls.

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