Africa Rising: When Women Lead, the Continent Soars

Beneath the vibrant skies of Tanzania, a profound message reverberated during a gathering orchestrated by TAMWA (Tanzania Media Women’s Association), an eminent advocate for women’s empowerment. It transcended the boundaries of a mere conference; instead, it marked a seismic shift, a resonant proclamation echoing the sentiments expressed by Dorothy Otieno of FEMNET. With eloquence, she declared, “African women have a historical underrepresentation in political decision-making.” This event was not merely about ticking a box; it symbolized a monumental stride toward gender equality, as Otieno articulated, “It’s not just a step; it’s a giant leap.”

However, this transcends mere quotas and numerical figures. Fatma Alloo, a pioneering figure and co-founder of both TAMWA and FEMNET, passionately advocated for women to “narrate their own stories.”

In the midst of addressing the challenges faced by feminists, she emphasized the imperative that “women should actively participate in political spheres.”

When women lead in political spaces, a ripple of positive change washes over the land. Critical policies take on a nuanced hue, encompassing the diverse needs of communities often overlooked by patriarchal systems.

Currently, women hold an average of 26% of seats in national parliaments across sub-Saharan Africa and Rwanda is the only country that boasts of 61% of women parliamentarians. But beyond these statistics, there’s an undeniable human impact which is retrospective of Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

Her presence in power is a beacon of hope whispering, “Dream big, break down barriers, you too can lead.” This is about representation, about shattering the glass ceiling not just for a few, but for all.

FEMENT’s collaboration with TAMWA therefore underscores the tangible impact women can have when given the space and support to lead. This contemporary but necessary fight for equality isn’t a solitary battle; it’s a symphony of voices backed up by FAWE, Gender Links, and International IDEA.

In our collective effort to pave the way for women’s political participation, we are unequivocally loud that When women rise, Africa soars. FEMNET’s work on Transformative leadership contact Dorothy Otieno; . This article was written by Imali Ngusale

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