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Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress.

International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate and reflect on the accomplishments and successes of women in the pursuit of gender equality and women empowerment. It is a day that marks the achievements of women in all areas of intersectionality; social, political, economic and cultural that spearhead the rise of women in all centers of life.

In Tanzania, while there have been numerous achievements on the part of women in politics, there is still a long way to go in terms of accurately including women in positions of leadership. While women make up 51% of the population in Tanzania, (National Census 2022), women and girls remain as marginalized citizens. Following the 2019 local and 2020 national elections, women only make up 37% of members of parliament and 29% of councilors.

The situation is even worse at the local level, where women only make up 1/3 of the villages, hamlets and streets leaders, which is a feat only possible due to mandatory laws in place otherwise there would be no representation at all in these areas. Presently, women only comprise a staggering 2% of village chairpersons, 13% of street. These numbers are too low to form a basis of equal representation and to accelerate progress for development.

That’s why this year, the theme for International Women’s Day at WiLDAF is “Count Her In! Increase Elected Women in the 2024 Local Elections.” Following in the footsteps of the global theme, “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress,” the theme for WiLDAF urges the masses to create an importance for matters pertaining to women in leadership. It is high time that more women are inspired to take charge and investing in women will create pathways that will not only promote leadership initiatives but also support transforming the lives of women in all aspects. For women to have an equal stake in the game, it is crucial that they receive a place on the table to be a voice for their needs in all aspects of life, but especially in politics where they can reap the fruits of their labor.

 Time is off the essence. Together, let us invest in women and inspire them to take a stand to increase the number of women elected this 2024!


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