On 9th February Tanzania’s parliamentarians took a vow to put an end to child marriage. The current Law on Marriage in Tanzania lets girls marry from as young as 14, but in the summer of 2016 the High Court of Tanzania found it to be unconstitutional. Although the law has yet to be changed, as one MP tweeted: “If we work together we can change the Law of Marriage Act in a short time”.
As the African proverb states – it takes a village to raise a child, and in this case it might just take a government of committed MPs to change a society.
During the conference MPs suggested incorporating the dangers of child marriage into the national education curriculum as part of an attempt to provide effective Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and Relationships Education (SRHR and SRE).
We know that when young women and girls know their rights they are more able to claim them. MPs also highlighted the relationship between poverty and patriarchy in tackling the practice, two major drivers of Child Marriage.
We’re encouraged to see Tanzania’s MPs taking a stand for women and girls rights. The African Union have also begun training parliamentarians on how to stand up and speak out against child marriage, so we know change is coming. We look forward to seeing how these conversations move into action and the transformation of Tanzanian women and girls lives. #EndChildMarriage.
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