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Why women succeed in local politics : the role of the informal to access leadership positions in Tanzania

Document type: report
Download file(s): 115687 (276 KB)
Abstract: Local government reform in Tanzania focuses on good governance and decentralization to strengthen decision making at the district level of government. The figures show that women are seriously under represented as District Councillors. The research investigated the informal factors in the life history of a group of 11 elected women councillors in Northern Tanzania, which contributed to their success in politics. The informal factors were: a history of community activism and leadership; having a supportive family and exposure to positive role models. Findings reveal that there is an interaction between the formal party selection process, and those informal factors. They have a major impact at two key moments in the formal process: decision to stand and opinion poll in villages. Although having a supportive family and positive role models played a part in contributing to political access, the main factor was shown to be a long history of community involvement, activism and leadership which contributed to being known, respected and accepted as a candidate to the extent of transcending those norms and values which militate against women leaders.
Note: Paper for presentation at the European Conference of African Studies organised by the Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies. London: 29 June – 2 July, 2005
Authors: Francis, A. , Chekani, S.
Series Title: SNV publications
Country: Tanzania, United Republic of
Category: Research
Serial number: H0702-03
Keywords: decentralization , women
Language: eng
Organization: SNV - Netherlands Development Organisation
PAGE: 24
Place: The Hague
Publisher: SNV Netherlands Development Organisation
Year: 2007
Region: Africa South of Sahara , East Africa
Right: © 2007 SNV
Subject: Social and Political Change
Title: Why women succeed in local politics : the role of the informal to access leadership positions in Tanzania