Sithembile Mazibuko – Swaziland

Sithembile Mazibuko – Swaziland

Date: July 1, 2015
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Mayor Sithembile Mazibuko is in her second term as Mayor of the Mankayane Town Board ; she is one of only two women mayors in the whole of Swaziland.

Getting to be in this high and esteemed position did not come easy for Mazibuko who shared with researchers her experience of the discussions and negotiations she had to enter into with her husband about her decision to run for elections in local government.

When she suggested to her husband that she wanted to run for elections, he initially said that by participating in elections, “I would be exposed to other men.” His other fears were that through her participation in Council, she would debate and would then also want to debate in the home and this would lead to fights as this would be a challenge to his authority.

After several discussions and attempts to convince and allay his fears, he finally agreed, but not happily. Fortunately none of his fears have materialised and they are still together. “He agreed even though he was still not fully happy with the decision, but as a couple we are fine and still happy.”

This case study is an illustration that there is still the expectation that if a woman is married, she must get permission from the husband to run in elections. In the event that he says no, then the likelihood is that she will not continue.

Some men said that they would not vote for women because of the Vote for Women campaign. They were intent on sabotaging this campaign and of making it fail. “But they won’t succeed; we women are too strong!”


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