According to civil society organizations and women’s rights groups, nearly 50 women who took part in Zanzibar’s elections have been divorced by their husbands, reports Reuters.
While Tanzania is already a month under the stewardship of new President John Magufuli, Zanzibar has failed to name a successor due to “gross violations” that occurred during their election.
Still, opposition party Civic United Front (CUF) insists that they won the election against ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi, and these tensions have bubbled over into many households, with husbands reportedly abandoning their families over politics.
However, while the Zanzibar election “remains undecided,” the future of some families is not.
According to Tanzania Media Women’s Association Coordinator Mzuri Issa, the Zanzibar Female Lawyers Association, and Zanzibar’s Mwanakerekwe District Kadhi Court, 47 women were divorced by their husbands for voting against their husband’s wishes.
In fact, the elections became such a hotly contested issue in the archipelago that some women have admitted that they did not take part in the election due to the threat of divorce and/or violence if they participated.
Issa explains, “Some of the women were not allowed by their husband to vote but those who refused to see their right trampled on were either divorced or abandoned.”
And one unnamed woman told Zanzibar’s Daily Newspaper, “I thought it was just normal and free in a democracy to differ in politics. But unfortunately, my husband was adamant to the end and decided to divorce me. He has even decided not to bring basic needs to our young children.”