Makinda presses for gender equity

By Daria Erasto
The Citizen Correspondent
Dar es Salaam. Political parties should use women not only in campaigns, mobilising people and fund raising, but also support them to be elected in their parties and government.

By doing so the parties would be  functioning as institutions that support democracy from a gender perspective, and women would have chances to decide on matters affecting them.

This was said yesterday by the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Anne Makinda, when she officially opened a three-day sub-regional roundtable on gender in building democracy for the East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC).

She said even though Tanzania was in the fourth position among SADC counties and second in the EAC for having a large number of female MPs, it had a lot of challenges in attaining gender equality. She said the reason was that in most political parties only men held top six positions.

“We must all take responsibility to promote gender equality so as to have effective participation for all politically, economically and socially. Political parties must create a good environment for women to participate in democracy,” she said.

For his part, the secretary general of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, Dr Esau Chiviya, said gender inequality still existed in all spheres of life. In some countries it was very disheartening, he lamented.He said it was that way because some governments did not have the political will to bring about gender equality as a priority.

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