Women In Leadership – Why The Gap Is Still Wide
By Abela Msikula
Executive Director of Women Fund Tanzania Ms Mary Rusimbi presents a paper at an event in Dar es Salaam. She is flanked by the Chairperson of the Coalition of Women and Constitution Tanzania, Prof Ruth Meena.
ALL women have in-born leadership character. What needs to be added is talent promotion, and this mostly should be done to African women, who work hard but earn very little,” says a political scientist and human rights activist, Prof Ruth Meena.
Prof Meena also emphasizes that women have in-born listening skills, an important leadership element which serves in maintaining flexibility, among other qualities. The only huddle that women have to grapple with is the ‘outdated’ patriarchal system which has thrived for ages and maintained by men for fear of being conquered.
“There is nothing to fear, women are naturally powerful in leadership and have been so in their own right ever since they became mothers. Almost all poor families’ survival depends much on the struggles of the mothers”.
According to Prof Meena, there are many cases involving men who abandoned their families, leaving women and children to suffer on their own. However, mothers finally come up with solutions to make sure children and other members of the family lead a normal life.
“Is there any other leadership technique that is worth the word than providing food to family members, sending children to school and providing them with all necessary educational materials and even making sure they have access to health services any time,” she queries. Yet, it is the same women whom society has denied them their rights to take up leadership positions , including those in the political and economic arena
.”I believe it is time relevant appointing authorities including President John Magufuli to see that more and more women get leadership positions and see how they are capable enough to bring about quick family and national positive changes.”
According to Prof Meena, it is this kind of denial to get sufficient leadership positions which compelled women activists to form various organs, including the ‘Coalition of Women and Constitution Tanzania,’ to lobby for these opportunities.
The Coalition is getting set to revive the debate on the availability of a new Constitution which promotes “Women Bill of Rights,” according to Prof Meena, who also chaired the Coalition.
Apart from the efforts seeking to raise the issue of women in leadership, Prof Meena also mentions the right of education to female children and proposed inclusion of leadership subject in the primary primary school education curricula.