Just Change In Law Will Not End Child Marriage In Tanzania: Activist

April 16, 2023 9:58 am8 commentsViews: 156

Msichana Initiative founder Rebeca Gyumi said changing law will not just be enough to end child marriage in Tanzania.


Speaking to the Thomson Reuters Foundation in London she added they are planning to change mindsets of people and try to trigger change in traditions too.

Earlier this year in July the High Court of Tanzania ruled two of the sections of the 1971 Marriage Act were unconstitutional. The sections talked here are allowing girls to marry at the age of 15 at least with parental consent and at fourteen with court’s permission.

The ruling has increased the legal age to 18 for girls and it was in response to a petition by Gyumi. She had then argued the act violated rights to equality for girls. Also, it is against their dignity and limits access to education.

The constitution grants equality in education and many other rights.

Now the real challenge in the country is to change the attitude of people. It is important for parents to consider girls are equally better like boys and should go to schools as well as ease economic burden on the families.

Briefing to the media Gyumi further mentioned, “The issue is deep-rooted in a male-dominated, patriarchal system where a girl child is not really treated as an equal person.”

The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world and forty percent of girls are married before reaching 18.

Gyumi said in about 25 years the number of girls getting married early could be reduced significantly.


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