International Women's Day. I was feeling a bit guilty for completely forgetting to write a piece that would hit on March 8th and then decided that March is International Women's Month so I would write a piece anyways.
My #pledgeforparity under the #IWD2016 sub-theme "call for gender balanced leadership" is to petition my parliament to update its website to provide data on the gender breakdown of elected (not special-seats) parliamentarians:
"I visited the Tanzanian parliament's website with a simple question: how many of our elected legislators are women? After poking around various promising links for 15 minutes (that is equivalent to a month in online research time) I left without a quick and direct answer. Egalitarian? Sure. Weird? Definitely. Something the website admin should fix? Absolutely."
As we all know, information is key to activism. So, webmaster: do you mind? Two places where you can put this information come to mind- the Composition Link in the About Us section and as a column in the List of Members A-Z table in the Members of Parliament section. Also, you could have a section titled "Parliament through history" or something like that where you post the stats on the composition of previous parliaments and other interesting factoids about them.
Also, this week's article is dedicated to that one irate commentator on my recent piece about education who accused me of being an out-of-touch bourgeoise who only complains but never provides solutions or does anything concrete. What a gross underestimation of my contributions to social development, sir! To be specific, I am an out-of-touch bourgeoise who can hashtagtivist with the best of them from the comfort of my armchair. See: I have just told my government what to do. #HappyWomen'sMonth!
PS: If gender and politics in Tanzania is one of your interests, I stumbled across this paper recently. Seems decent.
PPS: Jay Kay was pretty keen on gender parity on politics during his reign, one of his better qualities. I never did agree with the various proposals on how to bring this about (the suggestion to have one male and one female representative for every constituency was the worst!) but I did appreciate the intent. I'm going to give the current administration a year before I make up my mind, but it feels particularly testosterone-driven so far.