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Does gender matter in higher learning students’ politics? A case of Mwalimu Nyerere Students’ Organization (MASO) general elections, 2017

Jason Nkyabonaki


Female students experience the electoral process mostly as either voters or electoral candidates. This is of no exception at the Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial Academy. The electoral market is usually informed by various factors which in turn affect the female students’ participation in the election processes. The liberal theory is employed to explain the low turnover of female candidates in Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial Academy Students Organization general elections 2017. The main objective of the study was to examine the factors which impede female students to participate as vote seekers. The study reveals patriarchal values to be perceived as being embedded in female students’ mind that politics is a realm of men. The males’ students also subjugate the female students through patriarchal values such as believing that females cannot be good leaders. The study has also found out that female students lack self-confidence and feel disempowered before their counterparts male students. It is thus concluded that the 2017 Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial Academy Students Organization elections have depicted a gendered students` politics limiting female students’ participation as vote seekers. Therefore, robust efforts are needed to combat the situation through female students’ leadership programmes and having a functioning gender club for deliberating on gender relations and empowerment.
Keywords: Female, gender, elections, patriarchy, participation

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eISSN: 2591-6955
print ISSN: 2507-7783