Salma Maoulidi

Women’s exclusion from public spaces, and particularly the political realm, is systematic. It is structural in nature and is intensified by attitudes, cultures, norms and practices that seek to explain rather than address their exclusion from positions of power.


Tanzania has been praised globally for undergoing orderly and peaceful elections since the resumption of multi-party politics in 1992. But the 2015 elections, whether in Zanzibar or the union, can hardly be categorised as free or fair, by any standard. The climate of intimidation, manipulation and intrigue began well before the official campaign period.


The dominant discourse among Muslim women tends to be about dated cultural rules and practices, writes Salma Maoulidi. But activists are now increasingly preoccupied with contemporary questions such as leadership and political participation, as was the case at a recent conference in Istanbul


Salma Maoulidi writes that Tanzania has witnessed in the past week significant events in the country and region, which on the face of it may not appear related to her ongoing discussions on women and the constitution. However, from the president’s meeting with Islamic religious leaders, to the untimely death of Wambui Otieno-Mbugua, to the sinking of the ship off the coast of north Unguja, there is much to say about how these events make a more realistic discussion on women as subjects of more

Looking at how Kenya's inheritance laws leave women in the lurch, Salma Maoulidi says it's impossible for African women to celebrate Africa Day when they are ‘not celebrated in the most intimate of spaces’ – their families and communities.

With Zanzibar celebrating 47 years since its 1964 revolution on 12 January, Salma Maoulidi discusses current political developments and asks which literary script might best capture the island’s experience.

Julien Harneis

Has Tanzania’s parliament elected Anna Makinda as its first female speaker because she’s the best person for the job, or because it thinks she’s less likely to demand accountability than her predecessor, asks Salma Maoulidi.


Salma Maoulidi looks at the future of Tanzania’s 50-50 Campaign as the country prepares for a general election. The campaign is meant to bring gender parity in parliament. Maoulidi argues the process is stalling as female politicians get caught up in a game where there is no women’s agenda and where women and women’s issues are largely absent from political debates.


Tanzanians preparing to go to the polls on 31 October are ‘keenly aware that the country’s political future is at stake’, says Salma Maoulidi. Their votes, writes Maoulidi, could redefine the direction of a country ‘jeopardised by the dominance of economic interests and buddy patronage pursued by the government of the incumbent candidate and ruling party.’


When children work in order to ensure the livelihoods of themselves and their families, should this be defined as child labour, asks Salma Maoulidi.