After four decades of politics, veteran Member of Parliament Anna Abdallah has announced her retirement, but says she’s not done working.
Abdallah, who is also chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Security and International Cooperation, says she will continue advocating for women’s rights.
“I’m happy that we have a few women in top positions of some political parties,” says Abdallah, a 74-year-old great-grandmother.
“But we need to do more. I ask more women to compete in constituencies this time. Special seats are there for you, but that is not enough.”
“”It’s quite hard, especially because of African traditional culture where a woman’s place is in the kitchen,” Abdallah told the Observer last year.
Abdallah, who is a member of ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party, says sexism is still evident in Tanzania’s political culture.
“Especially during candidate selections for elections, you hear people saying, ‘Don’t prefer a woman because she’s just a woman, parliament is no place for a woman, she should be at home.”
Abdallah trained as a nurse and has held posts such as Minister of Health, Minister of Public Works, among others.