Tanzania

For several years, women’s rights activists, academics and experts in Tanzania have been raising awareness and working to end “sextortion,” in which women who seek election or nomination face the extortion of sexual favors within their own political parties by party leaders.

Tanzania

Election:

For several years, women’s rights activists, academics and experts in Tanzania have been raising awareness and working to end “sextortion,” in which women who seek election or nomination face the extortion of sexual favors within their own political parties by party leaders.

Tanzania National Elections 2015

National Election 2015

Tanzania’s 2015 general elections were some of the closest since the country’s transition to multiparty democracy in 1992.

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.

Before the Election

TWCP stationed 44 observers throughout the country to gather reports on violence against women directly before the day of elections. These observers also reported incidents of violence they witnessed or received information on from credible third parties on election day itself.

Have you witnessed spousal or family influence preventing women from attending rallies or participating in the electoral process?

66% of observers reported that they had not heard or witnessed family influence preventing women from participating in rallies or the election; of those that did report it, most received the reports from credible third parties.

Election Day

On election day, TWCP deployed the same 44 observers who had been part of the pre-election observation throughout the country. These observers reported on the day of elections about any incidents of violence targeting women that they had seen or heard of from credible third parties.

About the Observation

TWCP worked with NDI to train and deploy 44 observers across mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar to observer the pre-election campaign period and election day. During the pre-election campaign period, October 20-24, TWCP observers submitted a total of 320 reports; on election day itself, 44 reports were submitted.

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Electoral violence undermines democratic elections, which are a cornerstone of democratic governance. Violence against women in elections is a particular form of electoral violence, motivated by a desire to prevent women from participating in the electoral process, which sees women attacked for daring to participate in elections. Learn More About Votes Without Violence