Women’s leadership is responsibility of everybody i.e the Government, civil society and the women themselves. Similarly gender is social constructed and therefore it can be socially de-constructed for the interests of all members of society.
Strategies have been high lightened for the way forward and in the process; an evaluation on the nature of the system has been made asking whether the women’s role is just to get main streamed into it or to transform the very systems in order to make the systems more humane, more women friendly and therefore more democratic.
The major players in this struggle have been:
- The Government.
- Women’s organizations and women and gender. activists, pressure groups and lobby groups.
- Various Women’s groups.
The National Report to the World Conference in the section dealing in power and decision making recognizes that women in Zanzibar form 51% and they are the majority voters. The report also recognizes that they are the meagre representation in decision making.
The report proposes the following strategies:
- That greater co-ordination between women’s organizations, women’s lobby groups, women’s wings in political parties and women’s pressure groups should be enhanced. There is need to continue fostering unity and greater Co-ordination between these groups as well as Government agencies in pressing for women’s empowerment and protection.
- Gender sensitization programmes and civic education programmes have been implemented in order to address issues of socio-cultural barriers and to promote positive images of women. The report adds, women as major potential beneficiaries should provide leadership in initiating and implementing these programmes.
- Part-time employment and flexible working hours should be encouraged to support women’s roles in the public and private sectors.
- Highlighting of women’s leadership abilities by all parties should be encouraged.
- The report notes that political parties have been dominated by men. “Women must therefore endeavor to fight and seek for key positions in their parties”.
- Networking and building alliances with Gender Sensitive men should be encouraged.
According to Statistics from UN-Women, an Internal entity dedicated to the empowerment of women, the percentage of women in parliaments has nearly doubled in the last 20 years.
As of January 2020, 10 women were serving as heads of states and 13 were serving as heads of Government.
Only 21% of Government ministries were women, with only 14 countries have achieved 50% or more women in cabinets. With an annual increase of just 0.52% points, gender parity in ministerial positions will not be achieved before 2077.
The five most commonly held portfolions by women ministers are family, children, youth, elderly and disabled; followed by social affairs; environment, natural resources, energy, employment, labor, vocational training and women affairs and gender equality.
However, only 25% of all National parliamentarians are women, up from 11% in 1995 and only four countries have 50% or more of women in parliament in single or lower houses: Rwanda with 61%,Cuba with 53%,Bolivia with 53% and the United Arab Emirates with 50%.
Data from 133 counties show that women constitute 2.18 million (36%) of elected members in local government authorities. Only two countries have reached 50% and an additional 18 countries have more than 40% women in local government.
Zanzibar for over the years has been toppling the global list of countries with the most female politicians.
Minister of State in the First Vice President’s Office, Dr Saada Mkuya Salum says women have a great opportunity to make the right decisions in next general elections.