Attitudes towards affirmative action policies’ implementation in local politics in Tanzania: a case of Misungwi district, Mwanza region


For about two decades, Affirmative Action (AA) policies, particularly Quotas and/or Special Seats have been substantial measures for increasing women’s political representation and participation in developing countries and Tanzania in particular. However, attitudes related obstructions influences AAs’ implementation in the country. With this rationale, this study was conducted in Misungwi District to assess factors influenced attitudes towards AAs’implementation. A key question in this study was: Do sex, awareness/knowledge on Affirmative Actions (AAs) and duration in local leadership positions influences respondent’s views towards AA’s implementation? Data were collected using questionnaires, interviews and documentary reviews. The analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 13. Findings revealed that, more women had positive attitudes towards AA’s implementation as opposed to men. Knowledge on reasons for Affirmative Action’s introduction was also positive. In addition, respondent’s attitudes were positive for respondents stayed six years and above in local leadership positions. Though it was a case study findings depicted a real picture of most District Councils in Tanzania. The study concluded that negative views towards AAs’ implementation exacerbated women’s under-representation as well as poor participation in local politics. Finally, we recommend that the family, schools and political parties should be entry points to eliminate negative attitudes towards AAs’ implementation in Misungwi District and the nation at large. Public gender awareness campaigns, accompanied with empowerment programmes are also highly recommended in this regard.


Journal Article


Attitudes, Affirmative Action policies, Implementation, Local politics, Women participation, Misungwi District, Mwanza, Tanzania