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March 5, 2012

Govt Urged To Amend, Repeal Discriminatory Laws Based On Gender


The government has been urged to amend or repeal all discriminatory laws in Tanzania based on gender for the country to meet equality between women and men as provided for in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The call is part of the recommendations made by the Southern African Human Rights NGO Network (SAHRINGON) Tanzania Chapter in its report on the implementation of the MDGs, whose copy The Guardian has.
In its report, SAHRINGON mentions the Customary Law Declaration Order of 1963 as one of the discriminatory laws as it prohibits widows from inheriting land from the deceased husband.
It further mentions the Tanzania Citizenship Act 1995 as another setback.
“Under this law, a woman who is married to a Tanzanian citizen is entitled to be naturalised but the opposite is not possible and that a person whose father was a citizen of Tanzania at the time of birth is entitled to naturalisation,” reads part of the report.
According SAHRINGON, the Law of the Marriage Act, 1971 is yet another discriminatory law as it allows marriage of girls of even below 15 years old.
This law is contradictory to the Law of the Child Act, 2009, which defines a child as any person below the age of 18, meaning the Marriage Act, 1971 condones the marriage of minors.
Activists in the country have over the recent years been concerned about the discriminatory laws in the country calling for a need to review them.
In 2010, the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) in collaboration with other civil societies identified four discriminatory laws still applicable in the country.
Among them is the Law of Marriage Act (Cap29) [R.E 2002]. Section 13 of this law states that a woman can get married at the age of 14 and 15 upon leave of the court while section 17 of the same law allows marriage under parents’ consent in case the girl has not attained the apparent age of 18.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

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