National Election 2015
In the period before the elections, a broad cohort of civil society organizations organized election observations to monitor the election processes. The Tanzania Women Cross-Party Platform (TWCP) was one such organization, which conducted a thematic observation focused on women’s participation in the election and monitored incidents of violence against women as voters, candidates and election officials.
This observation was specifically focused on violence against women in elections, and gathered detailed information about incidents of violence, including the type of violence used, victims and perpetrators. TWCP designed their checklists carefully to reflect what would reasonably be observable during their data collection period.
For several years, women’s rights activists, academics and experts in Tanzania have been raising awareness and working to end “sextortion,” a term that was coined to describe a certain form of VAW-E that women candidates began to report, in which women who seek election or nomination face the extortion of sexual favors within their own political parties by party leaders. TWCP itself has contributed to raising awareness about the phenomenon in the past. However, although it considered “sextortion” an important form of VAW-E—one that was likely to occur—it was not included on the final observation forms because it would be happening before the period of time during which observers would be collecting data.