Wednesday, 03 May 2017 09:31

TANZANIA: Concern for Girl Child, As Early Marriages Kick-Off Fresh Debate

Rate this item
(0 votes)

DODOMA, April 28 2017 - Lawmakers yesterday tasked the government to explain when it will specifically revise the heavily criticized Law of Marriage Act of 1976 in order to protect young girls from being married off at a tender age.

MPs from the opposition and ruling parties sounded the 'red' signals here Tuesday when debating budget estimates for the Ministry of Constitution and Legal Affairs, tabled by Prof Paramagamba Kabudi.

They said there was need for the government to reinforce the law in the face of "increasing numbers" of child marriages and school drop-outs across the country.

"This is against the constitution ... a number of girls are denied their constitutional rights and the existing law is too discriminative," Ms Amina Mollel, Special Seats MP (CCM), said when debating the ministry's budget estimates. So, she queried: "When will the government bring to parliament a proposal to amend the outdated marriage law?"

Debate on the marriage act started since 1994, with mostly contested sections being 13 and 17 of the law that allows a boy child to marry at age of 18 -- while a girl child could marry at the tender age of 14. Special Seats MP Ms Salome Makamba (Chadema) said the government was taking (too) long to revise the law - at a time when a number of women were dying on delivery beds.

"Maternal mortality is on rise because of child marriages ... as a woman and a representative I need answers from the government," she said.

She highlighted that the marriage act of 1967 was against the convention of children's right and contravened global sustainable development goals 2030 which, among others, seeks to promote equality for all.

However, Attorney General, Gorge Masaju said the government was taking appropriate steps to revise the law.

For his part, Constitution and Legal Affairs minister Prof Kabudi acknowledged the law was under review, but stressed that more time was needed to facilitate consensus building among all parties. He said Tanzania had a good marriage law, for a start, saying other countries had failed to write the same documents due to customs and religious differences.

"This law has some positive elements ... we cannot just come up with a new law ... we're working on it to ensure we remove the outdated sections and retain the good practices without affecting religious and cultural beliefs," he said. The National Assembly subsequently endorsed the ministry's budget for FY 2017/18.

Source: Tanzania Daily News (

Read 990 times Last modified on Wednesday, 03 May 2017 16:46

Related items

  • TANZANIA: Giving Autistic Children a New Lease of Life

    When Martha Samwel, gave birth to her daughter 11 years ago, she never thought the arrival of her bundle of joy would bring so much sadness, stigma and misunderstanding within her family and the community altogether.

  • TANZANIA: Hidden Hunger Threatens Mothers and Infants

    Happiness Salum like about 7 million other young women in Tanzania, is a teenage mother. The 17-years-old fell pregnant just after completed her primary school education in Kasulu District, Kigoma Region. Happiness believes her circumstances would be different if she was dealt a better hand in life. She is not only a teenage and single mother, but is the mother of a two-year old boy suffering from stunted growth.

  • MAURITANIA Issues Birth Certificates for Malian Refugee Children

    GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — The U.N. refugee agency reports the Mauritanian Government is issuing birth certificates to thousands of Malian refugee children who were born in Mbera camp, conferring important legal protections upon them.

  • WORLD: Child Soldiers World Index reveals shocking scale of child recruitment

    A first-ever online database on child soldiers, launched today (21 February 2018), maps the shocking scale of child exploitation by armed forces and non-state armed groups around the world.

Videos that may interest you

<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Related Events

01 Sep - 01 Jun
03 May - 04 May
08 May - 10 May
28 May - 30 May
07 Jun - 09 Jun
06 Sep - 07 Sep
Copyright © 2015 The African Child Policy Forum. All rights reserved.