From where I stand: Stella Cosmas Chetto


Stella Cosmas Chetto. Photo: UN Women/Stephanie Raison
Photo: UN Women/Stephanie Raison


At first, my husband was not very supportive because he said ‘politics is a big challenge, you will spend a lot of money and, as a woman you will not gain enough support because politics is for men.’ But I continued and he saw that I was gaining support, he changed his mind. Now he is 100 per cent supportive because he has noticed that people are supporting me, that I can do it, and that I am serious about it.

I want to be a councillor in order to advocate for community issues that are pertinent in this area. I want to see that there is true development for the people here. Women are capable, and they make good leaders. I would like men to know that women need equal opportunities to participate in life and decision-making.

During the campaign in 2015, one candidate from another party announced at his rally that since I was going door-to-door campaigning that if any man finds me at their home they should rape me. I reported the issue to the police. The candidate was officially warned.

Since I don’t have much campaign money, I need to go to people’s homes to campaign and I am targeting women and youth. In 2015, I managed to cover more than half the households in my ward. Next election, I will continue until I win.”

SDG 5: Gender equality

Stella Cosmas Chetto, 48, ran for election in the Sengerema District Council in the United Republic of Tanzania in October 2015, after receiving leadership training as both an aspirant and a candidate from UN Women. Sustainable Development Goal 5 seeks to ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life.

Read more stories in the “From where I stand...” editorial series.