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Parliamentarians Commit to Push for Amendment of the Law of Marriage Act 1971‘’SAUTI MOJA’’ (One Voice)

The  meeting namely ‘’SAUTI MOJA’’ (One Voice). 
This is an important milestone for the Network to mobilize political will
and commitment from Parliamentarians as the key players in ending child marriage, and thus they can lead the development of relevant legislation and policies. 

Last summer, the High Court ruled the country's age of marriage laws unconstitutional. Yet six months later, the law remains unchanged.

Strategic Planning Meeting to Curb Child Marriage Law

Tanzania Ending Child Marriage Network (TECMN) Strategic Planning meeting On 17th January 2017, TECMN members gathered to kick start the year with tangible ways on how to end child marriage in Tanzania, reflecting on the efforts done by the network towards the Child marriage Case and way forward!

The meeting centered on planning on how to push the amendment of the Law of Marriage Act 1971 which , the Tanzania High Court pointed out  last year in 2016 that while the Law of Marriages Act may have been enacted with good intentions in 1971, this intention is no longer relevant because the effect of the Act now is to discriminate against girls by depriving them of opportunities that are vital for all citizens. Whilst boys are allowed to enjoy their teenage years, parents can force girls to grow up long before they are ready.

Tanzania Law of Marriage Act of 1971 amendment at Advanced Stage !

A Government review of the outlived Marriage Act 1971 seeking to empower women and curb child marriage is now at advanced stage, according to Minister for Constitution and Legal Affairs Dr Harrison Mwakyembe.

The Minister said here yesterday the government had opted for guidance on the matter from the Referral Court instead of tabling the bill of amendments in the National Assembly.
“The exercise which has been initiated with the White Paper to seek public opinion will be complete soon,” Mr Mwakyembe said when responding to Special Seats MP Amina Makilagi (CCM).

Even though the government admitted the heavily criticised law had some loopholes which delayed justices especially to a girl child and women. “We have appealed to the referral court to allow a thorough deliberation of the law,” he said.
Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe - Minister of Constitution and Legal Affairs 
The minister’s remark followed a supplementary question from Ms Makilagi, who demanded to know why the government had appealed at the Referral Court regarding a case filed to press the government amend the law.The lawmaker also inquired clarification on the plans to table the bill of amendment in the law-making body.

In response, Mr Mwakyembe said process to amend the law was in progress in the ministry. He said the ministry had therefore resolved the matter be discussed for a clear understanding.However, the Minister said Tanzania has made some positive strides in empowering women, including enacting and amending her laws to promote gender equality.
He said earlier a divorced woman walked away with nothing. But the new laws embed requirements for matrimonial property distribution. “Women now own property ... for the record, a huge number of people in prison today are serving long jail terms for abuse and gender based violence,” the Minister said.
Dr Mwakyembe said the current marriage law was approved after a long deliberation through a White Paper No 1 of 1969 involving faith, normal and traditional practices.
After 20 years the law was enacted.
Dr Mwakyembe said the government through the Tanzania Legal Reform Commission analysed the marriage law, identifying some shortcomings which would be amended. He reminded that a fist White Paper was prepared in 2008.
This post was first published in the Dailynews Tanzania >   http://www.dailynews.co.tz/index.php/home-news/53665-marriage-act-at-advanced-stage-mwakyembe

TECMN and Girls Not Brides Meeting on 25th August 2016

Tanzania Ending Child Marriage Network - TECMN and Girls Not Brides on 25th August 2016 met to discuss The progress of the network to date and how to strenghten the National Partnership Policy and Advocacy Messages to #EndChildMarriage in Tanzania Catch what happened below!
PEN Tanzania Children's Dignity Forum - CDF Save the Children Hope 4 Young Girls Tanzania UMATI Agape AIDS Control Programme Plan International Tanzania Msichana Initiative Tanzania Child Rights Forum: Jukwaa la Haki za Watoto Tanzania Dogodogo Centre Street children's Trust
Ms. Lara Van Kouterik -Senoir Partnership Officer from Girls Not Brides introducing the Girls Not Brides Global Partnership to the Tanzania Ending Child Marriage Network

TECMN members during a Group work session 

Some of the TECMN members listening carefully to the presenters 

Tanzania Ending Child Marriage Network (TECMN) welcomes new members !

TECMN representative in a group photo after the meeting 
The Tanzania End Child Marriage Network (TECMN) in July welcomed three new member organizations which are  Save the Children  Tanzania ,PEN Tanzania, Msichana Initiative to the Network making for there to be 35+  member organizations in Tanzania Committing to End Child Marriage!

The Executive Director of CDF Tanzania - Mr.Koshuma Mtengeti (with glasses) giving the opening remarks during the TECMN meeting that took place in Children's Dignity Forum Conference Hall 

The main purposes & objectives of this network are as follows:
  1. To increase awareness of the harmful impact of the child marriage at community, national & international levels
  2. To advocate for policy reforms to end child marriage and resource mobilization to support married girls and girls at risk
  3. To strengthen learning and coordination between organizations working to end child marriage in Tanzania
Members of the network in a meeting

Follow us on Twitter @TECMN Tanzaniahttps://twitter.com/EndCEFM
Facebook :https://www.facebook.com/tanzaniaEndingChildMarriageNetwork/?ref=bookmarks

Press Release Statement on Attorney Generals Notice to Appeal Against the Child Marriage Case held 4th August 2016 at the Legal Human Rights Center

From Left Mr. Koshuma Mtengeti - Executive Director at Children's Dignity Forum ,Ms. Valerie Msoka - The Chairperson of the Tanzania Ending Child Marriage Network, Ms. Hellen Bisimba - The Chairperson of Legal and Human Rights Center and Ms. Rebeca Gyumi -The Executive Director of Mschina Initiative addressing the Press release

On 4th August 2016 ,in Dar es Salaam 

The Tanzania Ending Child Marriage Network (TECMN) issues the following statement regarding the intention of the office of the Attorney General to appeal against High Court's decision in the case Rebeca Gyumi vs A.G. The A.G being dissatisfied with the decision of the Honorable Justice Lila PJ Kihiyo J and Munisi J given at Dar es Salaam on 8th day of July 2016 has served the petitioner with notice of appeal against the whole decision.

The High Court of Tanzania's judgement declared section 13 and 17 of the Law of Marriage Act 1971 which allowed for a girl child to be married at 14 and 15 years unconstitutional and that the mentioned sections have lost their usefulness and they no longer serve the purpose and further directed the government through the Attorney General to correct the anomaly in the Law of Marriage Act within one year.

We are saddened by this decision, recognising the growing national and regional momentum on child protection discourse. 
"It is essential that the Attorney General is  held to account, and reminded to recognize the serious implication the appeal will have to the status of child marriage in Tanzania.  According to UNFPA on average , almost two out of five girls will be married before their 18th birthday and from DHS report, 37% of women aged 20-24 are married /in union before 18 years leading to young girls being victims of domestic and sexual violence , isolated and psychologically traumatized, least educated and living in poverty"
"Tanzania Ending Child Marriage Network (TECMN) therefore calls on the Government of Tanzania to exercise the protection and promotion of women and girls, and as a signatory of the UN Sustainable Development Goals of which Goal 5 is on Gender Equality and the Africa Union Agenda 2063, should aim at eliminating all forms of gender-based violence and discrimination (socially, economically and politically) against women and children so that they fully exercise their human rights. The government should also aim at ending all harmful social practices, especially female genital mutilation and child marriages as well as the elimination of all barriers to quality health and education for women and girls. For Tanzania to successfully achieve its Vision 2025, it must put in place and implement policies and laws which protect and promote women and girls in the country.”

Thank you for listening.
The Tanzania Ending Child Marriage Network is Comprised of the following members:
Children’s Dignity Forum Tanzania (CDF) , Legal And Human Rights Centre (LHRC), Msichana Initiative , Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) , Women Wake Up(WOWAP) , Youth Achievement Village In Tanzania(YAVT) , C-Sema , Network Against Female Genital Mutilation (NAFGEM) , Right To Play Tanzania (RTP) , Centre For Widows And Children Assistance (CWCA) , Women’s Legal Aid Centre (WLAC), Utu Mwanamke ,Tanzania Media Women’s Association (TAMWA),Safety Kwanza – Tanzania , Taasisi Ya Maendeleo Shirikishi Arusha (TAMASHA)  ,Makangarawe Youth Information And Development Centre (MYIDC) , Children Education Society (CHESO)  ,Dogodogo Centre (DGCT) , Agape Aids Control Programme (AACP) , Baba Watoto Center, , Ekama Foundation , Art In Tanzania , Tanzania Women And Children Welfare Center (TWCWC) , Plan International ,ANPPCAN Tz Charter ,SOS Children’s Vollages , Hope for Young Girls , Wadada Center ,PEN Tanzania , Oasis For Orphans (Tz) Group , Save The Children  and  The Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA) .

Released and Signed by :

Valerie Msoka
TECMN Chairperson

The 6th Nijali Media Dialogue on 18th July 2016

 Panelist speakers  seated included from left Ms Rebeca Gyumi - Msichana Initiative ,A Youth reprsentative ,  Mr. Koshuma Mtengeti The Executive Director from Children's Dignity Forum - CDF , Ms Christine Mwanukuzi-Kwayu - Assistant Country Representative - UNFPA Tanzania at Serena Hotel - Dar Es Salaam .

Earlier Today Sema Tanzania held the 6th Nijali Media Dialogue on whats next after the government's rule to prohibit Child marriage below 18 years? 

#MyLifeAt15 - " I wanted to be a lawyer "

#MyLifeAt15 - "I had a Dream to be a soccer player " #EndChildMarriage

#MyLifeAt15 -" I wanted to be the best Cook after completing my Technical education from Temeke "