Tanzania: Schoolgirls Need Books, Not Husbands

The issue of early-marriage is not limited to Nigeria, obviously, there are many other countries who are facing this challenge and a lot of intervention around the world to promote the girl-child education. Some primary school girls in Tanzania, East Africa have recently  accused their parents of contributing to the problem of early marriage in the country by giving them out in marriages.....continue reading...

'PRIMARY school pupils in Sumbawanga municipality have literally accused their parents to the acting Regional Commissioner (RC) for Rukwa, Mr Iddy Kimanta, for withdrawing some of their number in order to marry them off to suitors, for a dowry.
The pupils, whose bitterness in connection with the maltreatment was reflected in a message that was read to the RC at a public rally in Kanondo village, appealed for comprehensive government intervention.
They were concerned that dropping out of school denied them education and that getting
married at a tender age amounted to illegal child marriage. Some parents, they claimed, force their daughters out of school so they can help out in household chores.
The RC also heard that some parents ordered their schooling daughters to look for casual labour so they help support the family financially. Some of the girls joined domestic servitude.
Other sought menial jobs as waiters in bars and guest houses. And there are those who join the rabid world of prostitution and fall prey to sexual predators. The RC was incensed, to say the least. He told the gathering that parents who would terminate the education of their children would meet the wrath of the law.
Marrying off young girls to husbands is an old tradition that can be traced back to numerous generations. It remains persistent today. The practice is one of the principal causes of the now numerous pregnancy complications in young mothers.
Most under-age marriages fail to work. Unfortunately, traditions are so powerful in many parts of Tanzania, especially among the Wamasai, Wakurya, Wahehe, Waha and Wahaya. Traditions also die hard among the Wagogo and Wasukuma.
Of particular concern to the state is the large number of pregnancy complications among young girls whose bodies are not yet ready to bear children. These include the possibility of obstetric fistula. Women who have the fistula are often the very young girls who are married very early, before reaching the age of 15 years for example, who are too poor to attend health services and try to deliver at home.
These young mothers are also often ignorant about motherhood. An obstetric fistula can occur because the woman's pelvis is too small; the baby's head is too big or the baby is badly positioned; the woman can be in labour for five days or more without medical help and other unfortunate reasons.
In most cases the baby dies. If the mother survives, she is left with tissue damage to her birth canal that renders her incontinent - either of her bladder or bowel functions. This is the beginning of a medically pathetic situation for the young mother. So, child marriages must be treated with the contempt they deserve. Schoolgirls need books -- not husbands'.

Culled from Tanzania Daily News 


  1. Obstetrics fistula is also a big issue with us today,especially in the north. I hope the bill to marry children off is not passed, it is criminal and will only increase the number of cases of obstetrics fistula if passed.

  2. Absolutely Annechia! There are many interventions to promote girl-child education and mainly in the north of Nigeria where the issue is more prevalent. It is sad to see some senators voting for the destruction of these efforts due to selfish interest.
    Nigerian girls need books too like their Tanzanian counterparts, not husbands! #ChildNotBride


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