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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Zanzibar: Women Slighted/Wanawake Wabezwa!

Women Slighted by Zanzibar ’s Government of National Unity

A few weeks after the historic Government of National Unity has taken over it is becoming extremely clear that women have no place in the construction of a new Zanzibar.

President Ali Mohammed Shein has only appointed 2 women ministers, both new comers to his government; 3 deputy Ministers and 2 Principal Secretaries to serve in the Government of National Unity. None of the women hold a substantial position in the government.

More troubling for gender activists in the isles is the government’s decision to take over the ministry that was formerly known as the Ministry for Labour, Youth, Women and Children’s Development now the Ministry for Social Welfare, Women and Children’s Affairs and to give the same to the Ministry responsible for Labour and Manpower Development.

“The premises were originally acquired for building a women’s resource centre”, says a male civil servant angered over the government action. “It is unjust to move the women and not the newcomers. The Department for Labour only had a small premise on the grounds housing the other Departments of Youth, Women and Children Affairs”.

Members of the civil society are equally saddened by the move. They translate it as an outcome of the flawed electoral process which saw experienced and assertive women candidates overlooked. “The problem is that the Minister in the Ministry for Women is new not just in government but in politics generally while she has to contend with the political machinations of people who have been in the system for a while”.

Most in the civil society think that women have been the unfortunate victims of the continuing tussle for power in the Government of National Unity not just between the ruling party, i.e CCM, and the Civic United Front (CUF) but within the ruling party itself.

The Chairperson of the Zanzibar Gender Coalition, Ms. Asha Aboud asserts, “We understand that the government is trying to establish itself. What we women don’t understand or accept is why our ministry was compromised considering its role in Zanzibar ’s social landscape”.

Women in Zanzibar want some serious explanation from the Government of National Unity. This will be the second time the actions of the Government of National Unity has come under criticism. Just recently the Zanzibar Law Society criticized the government for failing to respect the constitutional provisions in the appointment of High Court Judges.

Wanawake Wabezwa katika Serikali ya Umoja wa Kitaifa Zanzibar

Wiki chache baada ya kuundwa kwa Serikali ya Umoja wa Kitaifa Zanzibar, kuna dalili za kuashiria kuwa wanawake hawajapewa nafasi katika kazi kubwa ya kuijenga Zanzibar mpya.

Raisi Ali Mohammed Shein mpaka sasa ameteua wanawake wawili tu katika nyadhifa za waziri, 3 katika nafasi ya naibu waziri na 2 wanashika nyadhifa kama makatibu wakuu.

Linalowakera zaidi wanaharakati wa jinsia ni agizo la serikali la kuitaka wizara inayohusika na masuala ya wanawake na watoto kuhama katika makao makuu yao hapo mwanakwerekwe na kuipisha wizara mpya inayohusika na masuala ya kazi. Hapo awali Wizara ya Kazi ilikuwa ni Idara mojawapo ya wizara iliyokuwa ikishughulikia na masuala ya vijana, wanawake na watoto.

“Makazi ya wizara yalikusudiwa kujengwa kituo cha habari na taarifa yaani women’s resource centre hapo mwanzo”, anasema muajiriwa mmoja wa serikali aliyekerwa na hatua ya serikali kuzihamisha Idara za Wanawake na Watoto. “Si haki kuwahamisha wanawake. Kwa nini Wizara ya Kazi isitafutiwe sehemu nyingine?” Idara ya Kazi ilikuwa na eneo dogo katika wizara iliyokuwa ya Kazi, Maendeleo ya Vijana, Wanawake na Watoto.

Jumuiya za kiraia nao hawakupendezwa na hatua hii ya serikali. Wanaitafsiri hatua hii kama ni mojawapo ya athari zinazotokana na mfumo mbaya wa uchaguzi uliopelekea wanawake wenye uzoefu na wanaojiamini kuachwa na badala yake kuchaguliwa wanawake chipukizi wasio na uzoefu mkubwa katika siasa.

“Suala si tu kwamba waziri wa sasa wa wanawake ni mpya katika serikali na nyanja ya siasa lakini kuwa kwa mazingira yaliyopo inambidi akumbane na wenyeji serikalini na siasa zao!”

Wengi katika jumuiya za kirai wanaamini kuwa wanawake wametolewa kafara katika mvutano unaoendelea wa madaraka si tu kati ya Chama Tawala yaani CCM na Chama cha Wananchi(CUF) lakini miongoni mwa kambi ndani ya Chama Tawala.

Mwenyekiti wa Muungano wa Asasi zinazoshughulikia Masuala ya Kijinsia Bi. Asha Aboud anasema, “Tunaelewa kuwa serikali imo katika hatua za kujipanga ili ianze utekelezaji. Tusichokifahamu na kutokikubali sisi kama wanawake na wanajinsia ni kwa nini wizara yetu, wizara ambayo inatoa mchango mkubwa katika kushughulikia masuala ya kijamii ndiyo itolewe nje?”

Bila ya shaka Serikali ya Umoja wa Kitaifa inapaswa kuwajibu wanawake wa Zanzibar kwa hatua yao hiyo.

Hii ni mara ya pili hatua ya Serikali ya Umoja wa Kitaifa inakosolewa na asasi za kiraia. Hapo awali Jumuiya ya Wanasheria Zanzibar walipinga vikali uteuzi wa majaji wa Mahakama Kuu kwa kutofuata taratibu za Kikatiba.

Source/Chanzo: Zanzibar

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