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Mutual learning and sharing experiences

Women politicians from Nepal and Tanzania visited Finland in the beginning of September. Delegation visited among others the Finnish Parliament and different political parties. Delegates also got to visit two Finnish specialities: municipal day care centre and sauna.

Delegation consisted of Nepalese and Tanzanian women politicians, all of them eager to promote gender equality in their own country as well as worldwide. Sharing experiences from one side to another brought new ideas from country to another how to improve gender equality in all three countries.

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Kaisa Tiusanen presented Finnish election system in the Justice Ministry’s Democracy Unit.

Breaking the silence

Gender based violence in all three countries, Finland, Tanzania and Nepal raised a lot of discussion. Insufficient resources worsen helping the abused women in Finland, when recognizing violence and accepting it are the major problems in Tanzania and Nepal.

The shame makes it hard to help the victims of violence as well as the perpetrators. Breaking the silence accompanying violence was seen important in all countries.

Educating women and equal upbringing for boys and girls was seen as the key factor for equality.

Campaigning and recruting candidates

Before the upcoming municipal election in Finland campaigning was an issue that interested the guests. At the moment the Tanzanian women considered their biggest problem in campaigning to be the lack of money. Financial support for women of more limited needs in the begin with is challenging. In addition women are scared to run in elections.

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The chair of Green Women’s association Sirpa Hertell handed Maua Daftari a book by MEP Satu Hassi.

Considerable obastacle in women’s candidacy is the lack of self-confidence both in Nepal and Tanzania. That’s why grass-roots level work with women is so important. Interesting enough, the lack of money is also a problem for women in Finland. The Green women told that the financial support that they pay for women candidates is in demand.

Mutual international support

Connected to the Finland visit the delegation participated to DIPD’s (Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy) international Women in Politics – seminar. Seminar brought together women’s movement’s leading figures, politicians and experts all around the world to share experiences and mutual support.

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Nepalese Manju Yadav adressed the seminar in Christiansborg.

The delegates were invited to share their experiences on Demo’s support and women’s political participation in Tanzania and Nepal. Member of the Tanzanian Parliament Susan Lyimo and Nepalese politician Manju Yadav gave speeches on gender equality in their countries.

Lyimo was worried about women’s minimal representation in Tanzania, even though the constitution provides basis for women to participate. Despite the quotas and special seats for women, the real influence of women is still low. Yadav explained women’s difficult situation in Nepal, where “to do politics for a woman is the same as to lose her character” is a saying.

The vice chair of Demo’s board Hildur Boldt’s article “No democracy without women”, inspired by the seminar.

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