Women’s Political Empowerment and Leadership (WPEL) is a one year programme intending to enhance women’s leadership and political participation in the electoral processes through community and media sensitization in Zanzibar, both in Unguja and Pemba. Women’s participation in public life, including political leadership, still lags behind due to various reasons. Some of the reasons include: patriarchal system, traditional norms, and misconceptions by the community and the traditional and religious leaders on the role of women in the society. Women are ascribed to domestic responsibilities and sometimes misconceptions of the Islamic religion, which is predominant in the Zanzibar archipelago and tends to impact the level of women’s leadership and political participation. However, efforts from both state and non-state actors have contributed to a slightly increase in number and percentages of women in public life and leadership at various levels.
The Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA), Zanzibar is a renowned organization with the mandate to promote rights of women through multifaceted communication. Since 2008 TAMWA has engaged in various intervention to promote women’s rights and gender equality politically, socially and economically, a combination which has resulted in women’s transformation in Zanzibar The organization has worked and collaborated with several actors in a bid to raise voices of women and eventually promote their rights including political rights. In 2015 TAMWA collaborated with UN Women as well as other actors to sensitize community members, inducing community, religious and tradition leaders and training of women aspirants to run for political posts.
TAMWA engaged with several actors including women, politicians, religious leaders, media, civil society organizations, community members as well as identification and training of women political aspirants to achieve objectives of the project
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