Africa

The Hillaries of Tanzania

Published 5:37 AM ET, Thu October 22, 2015
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Rehema Mayuya formed the Reform Culture Association to encourage Tanzanian women to enter local politics. She is one of several women in Tanzania who has recently found her voice in local politics. Courtesy Abena Agyeman-Fisher
Mayuya made waves in her community when she convinced her 56-year old husband, Thabit Yusuf Fundi, to return the 13-year-old child bride his family wanted him to marry. Courtesy Abena Agyeman-Fisher
Some women, like Amina Salum Ally, are hoping to reach the highest echelon of Tanzanian politics. Ally is the first woman to enter the 2015 presidential race.

"This country needs me. It needs a woman, because population wise, 51.3 percent of the population is women, and there are challenges that women understand well," she says.
Courtesy Abena Agyeman-Fisher
Dr. Helen Kijo-Bisimba is the executive director of the Legal and Human Rights Centre in Dar es Salaam. She notes that there are similarities between management and motherhood that put women in good stead at the helm.
'I once saw in a poster in Zimbabwe that read, "the hand which steers the court can also steer the country,"' she recalls.
Courtesy Abena Agyeman-Fisher
Valerie Msoka is the executive director of Tanzania Women's Media Association (TAMWA) and a member of the women's coalition, ULINGO. She presented the coalition's Women's Manifesto -- a collection of 12 pro-female 'demands' to be incorporated into a new constitution for the country. Courtesy Abena Agyeman-Fisher
Candidate Sophia Mhando, 27, is one of dozens of women who have signed up for training courses in entering the political arena.

"Training has built my confidence and has made me to know how to create strategies which will help me build the agenda for the citizens of her county," she says.
Courtesy Abena Agyeman-Fisher
Fifty-two-year-old business woman Hindu Mussa Tamim of Chumbageni, Tanga is seeking a councilor special seat in the CCM party. She also participated in training.

"It has made us women realize that we have priorities, and it is our right to run in different kinds of elections to make women move ahead," she says.
Courtesy Abena Agyeman-Fisher
Journalist Dege Masoli of Nipasha newspaper gives women tips on the best ways to engage the media. His wife is also running for office. Courtesy Abena Agyeman-Fisher