On October 26, 2023, the Tanzania Center for Democracy (TCD) unveiled its latest initiative, the Womens Forum, in a bid to bolster womens engagement in politics and enhance their leadership capabilities.
During the inauguration event, TCD Chairman, Prof. Ibrahim Lipumba, emphasized the Forums role in rectifying the gender balance within the realm of politics and leadership. He urged female politicians from diverse parties to collaborate on addressing legal impediments that hinder their involvement in elections and to tackle gender-related issues.
Prominent figures attending the launch included the U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr. Michael Battle, and the Swiss Ambassador to Tanzania, Didier Chassot. Both ambassadors praised President Samia Suluhu Hassans commitment to upholding democracy in the country.
Anna Ryoba, the Executive Secretary of the National Womens Association of the Civic United Front (CUF) and a representative of the Womens Forum, highlighted the timeliness of the initiative. She expressed their intention to use the Forum as a platform to highlight election discrepancies, ultimately striving to ensure that women receive the respect and full participation they deserve in the future.
In addition to the launch of the Womens Forum, the TCD has also commenced the Youth Forum, with the goal of ensuring equal democratic participation and fostering a robust foundation for democracy.
The TCD has a significant history of championing democratic governance processes, particularly within the electoral and political spheres, since its establishment in 2005. Multiparty dialogues, which have been coordinated at both national and district levels, have been a pivotal aspect of the TCDs work, offering political parties a platform to collaborate on improving the democratic landscape in Tanzania.
In April 2023, TCD took a significant step by launching the Youth Dialogue Forum, providing a platform for young individuals to convene, discuss, and collectively propose recommendations on issues of national importance. These dialogues have proven to be instrumental in promoting a shared agenda, reinforcing democratic principles, building consensus, diffusing political tensions, and nurturing political tolerance. All of these contribute to the sustainable advancement of democratic governance in Tanzania.
However, until now, there has been a notable absence of a similar dialogue platform specifically tailored to women. As a consequence, womens engagement in these critical dialogues has been limited due to the lack of a dedicated platform addressing their unique concerns and perspectives. With the launch of this new project, TCD aims to address this gap and ensure the active participation of women in shaping the future of Tanzanian politics and electoral processes.