CHALLENGES FACING WOMEN LEADERS AMONGST LOCAL AND CENTRAL GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES IN TANZANIA

Mazana Mzomwe Yahya, Pelagia Apolinali Mutarubukwa

Abstract


Efforts have been made worldwide to reduce gender parity in all aspects of life, by increasing accessibility and equity of women in various areas, decision making being one. Today, women occupy a relative amount of positions of power in the country, despite their number being small in such positions. However, women in decision making positions are faced by various challenges.  Despite different research and efforts done by the Government of Tanzania and others, the situation is not promising. Generally, this study aimed at exploring the challenges faced by women leaders, their ability to cope, ways they engage in coping with the situation and suggest ways of reducing the challenges. The study employed a qualitative strategy, drawing from 10 in-depth interviews of women in decision making positions purposively sampled. Data were analyzed qualitatively based on categories and emerged major themes. The study revealed the following challenges; dominant masculine culture, negative attitude from subordinates, woman natural roles, low level of commitment and confidence, lack of time to socialize and networking. All the respondents show that are able to cope with the challenges and their coping strategies are: being hard working, balancing between the office and family, employing participatory techniques in management, further education and training, especially on management skills, setting achievable goals, avoid unethical practices such as corruption and sexual affairs, doing away with discriminatory traditions and laws, mentoring and coaching and use of alumni and role models. Grounded on the liberal feminist theory the study concluded that, women are not different from men and the existing gender inequalities are not biologically created but rather socially constructed. Therefore,  in order to bring social change and reduce gender inequality eliminating impediments and put in place policies, laws  that promote equal rights of women is crucial for attainment of 50% women representation in management and decision making positions. The study recommends that, alumni and role models share their experiences,  coach and mentor girls from low school age, priotise further education and training for women,  appointing women based on their merits,  appointees  getting proper orientation, identifying  capable girls, nurture, and mentor them, engage women in awareness campaigns, and advocate for change in discriminatory laws and practices

Keywords


Women, leaders, challenge, leader’s roles

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