Workshops with young women interested in politics were by far the most interesting task during my three months internship at the Demo Finland office in Dar es Salaam.
In workshops organised in the more rural parts of Dar es Salaam me and two other interns, Emma and Sandra, got to the core of Demo’s work, empowering young women to be political actors.
The participants were young women with average of secondary school background, who supported different political parties. After the first introductions the political background didn’t matter and group works were done in good co-operation.
Changing experiences and fighting beliefs
One aim of the workshops is to share experiences. I’m active in municipal politics and I shared my own experiences of uncertainty and how I planned my campaign. The setting was a bit strange, because I’m such a small factor in politics, but probably these girls want the same kind of small role also.
The hardest themes in our discussions were typical Tanzanian mindset and beliefs, which affect most to women’s political participation. We made the participants search for different kind of methods to cope with situations where their participation possibilities are jeopardized. It can be about basic things like who takes care of the children or cooking, or who in the family can spend nights away from the home.
The writer was an intern at Demo’s Tanzanian local office in the summer 2012.