Dar es Salaam, Tanzania-Tanzania’s first female president Samia Suruhu Hassan appointed a woman as Minister of Defense this week-this is the latest in a series of appointments of women to high-level government positions.
The appointment is part of Hassan’s second cabinet reshuffle since the death of his predecessor John Magufuli earlier this year.
When Stergomena Tax was sworn in as Tanzania’s first female Minister of Defense and National Services, Hassan said her choice broke the myth that women cannot hold such positions.
“I decided to break the long-held myth that the Ministry of Defense should have a muscled person. The minister’s job in this office is not to carry guns or cannons,” Hassan said, adding that the main duty of taxation will be to coordinate and manage the Ministry of Policy Management.
Gender activists welcomed the appointment, but said that more needs to be done to address the gender equality gap in the country.
Anna Henga, head of the Law and Human Rights Center, said that laws such as the Marriage Law and Education Law must be revised, which put women in a low position in decision-making. She added that the government should also allocate funds from the Ministry of Health to educate people that women can also become leaders.
Analysts say that the increase in the number of women’s political representatives at the national level will not automatically lead to women’s greater power in daily life, especially in highly stratified societies.
Sociologist Nasor Kitunda said that gender should not matter.
“I think this is trying to show that gender equality is directional, although I don’t believe in gender. The main criterion should be someone’s performance and their ability to perform these duties,” Kitunda said.
For Tanzanian human rights activist Aika Peter, appointing more female leaders is positive, but it must be rotated to allow others to demonstrate their leadership skills.
“We really need to see new faces in these positions-when you see the same people being recycled every day, it gives the impression that some people are very good at this job, and no one else is good at this job. “Peters said.
The appointment of taxes brings the number of women holding ministerial positions in Hassan’s government to eight.