Selina is fighting for more female politicians

Selina Wilson Msenga is a journalist at a major daily newspaper in Dar es Saleem in Tanzania. She also works as a part-time politician and holds the title of deputy mayor in the municipality of Kibaha, about 40 km west of Dar es Saleem. Selina has both been involved in ICLD training programme and in a municipal partnership. We present her here in our series Champions of Local Democracy.

In her role as a politician, Selina helps young women dare to take the first step into politics. Selina also fights for women to be able to become self-sufficient and independent, for example through favorable loans.

Selina is part of the steering group for the municipal partnership between Region Gotland and Kibaha Town Council. Previously, she also participated in ICLD’s leadership programme for women. Selina was also panelist in ICLD’s Local Democracy Talks in Tanzania in 2021 – How do we increase women’s political participation and leadership in Tanzania?

It is in her work as a journalist, when she covered politicians’ meetings, that Selina felt that something had to be done to highlight women. During the meetings, the few women who were present neither had the opportunity nor took the chance to say anything. There must be a change, but how?

Selina felt that she needed to get involved herself politically and this is where her journey as a local politician started.

Selina is a role model for women in her community, says Eva Flemming, the Swedish project coordinator for Region Gotland. She really strengthens and highlights them, especially the younger ones, so that they dare to take a place in political contexts, says Eva, who has met Selina several times and is impressed by her work.

Inspiration from Swedish municipalities

Through the ongoing partnership cooperation and ICLD’s leadership program for women that Selina participated in during 2021, she has received a lot of inspiration from Swedish politicians and knowledge and experiences from Swedish municipalities and regions.

– I will continue to work politically and seek leadership positions where I can empower and mobilize women to dare to move forward, like me, in politics and decision-making bodies, says Selina Wilson Msenga.

Selina Wilson Msenga with ICLD Secretary General, Johan Lilja. September 2021. Photo: Anne Scheffer Leander

Read more about the partnership between Gotland and Kibaha

ICLD Champions of Local Democracy

Gender or status does not matter, the important thing is that the person we are looking for has democratic values to live and inspire others. They may have gotten through difficult situations – but never backed down from the front lines of democracy, and they all have a personal story to tell. They have also been or are part of our operations. We present them in our series “Champions of Local Democracy”. Get inspired!