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Tanzania

Taux de mariages d'enfants
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 15 ans
5%
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 18 ans
31%

* Références

Fait référence au pourcentage de femmes âgées de 20 à 24 ans qui ont été mariées ou en concubinage avant le l’âge de 15 ou 18 ans.

Photo credit: DFID

Taux de mariages d'enfants
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 15 ans
5%
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 18 ans
31%

* Références

Fait référence au pourcentage de femmes âgées de 20 à 24 ans qui ont été mariées ou en concubinage avant le l’âge de 15 ou 18 ans.

What's the child marriage rate? How big of an issue is child marriage?

31% of girls in Tanzania are married before their 18th birthday and 5% are married before the age of 15.

According to UNICEF, Tanzania has the 11th highest absolute number of child brides in the world – 779,000.

According to 2010 data, child marriage rates are as high as 59% in Shinyanga, 58% in Tabora and 55% in Mara. Rates are lowest in Iringa and Dar es Salaam.

In rural areas on the border with Kenya, some girls reportedly marry as young as 11.

Are there country-specific drivers of child marriage in this country?

Child marriage is driven by gender inequality and the belief that girls are somehow inferior to boys. In Tanzania, child marriage is also driven by:

  • Family honour: Pre-marital sex is often considered a taboo which undermines family honour and decreases the amount of dowry a girl can fetch when married. Some girls who are considered to be micharuko – ‘running around with men’ – are forced into marriage to avoid bringing shame to families.
  • Poverty: A 2017 study by Forward shows that poverty is considered the leading driver of child marriage in Tanzania. Mahari – ‘bride price’ – involves a husband giving money, cattle or clothing to a bride’s family. It is also common for girls to decide to get married out of their own will in search of income opportunities.
  • Nyumba ntobu: This practice involves an older, wealthier woman paying bride price for a young girl to become her wife. A man is then chosen to impregnate the girl and any children who are born belong to the older woman.
  • Level of education: The Government’s Primary School Leaving Examination determines which students can go onto secondary school. Human Rights Watch argues that girls who fail the exam face little choice but to marry. Girls who are pregnant are also banned from re-entering school.
  • Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C): FGM/C is linked to a desire to control female sexuality and is seen by many communities as a rite of passage to prepare girls for marriage. Other ‘womanhood’ initiation dances – such as unyago, samba and chagulaga – involve a girl being trained on marital aspects when she reaches puberty.
  • Displacement: Burundian refugees in Tanzania live with limited resources, and years of displacement drives some refugees to marry off their daughters as a survival mechanism.

A 2017 study by Forward cites other driving factors for child marriage in Tanzania, including a demand for house maids (in Iringa), a lack of awareness (Lindi and Mtwara) and parental force (Mara, Tabora and Shinyanga).

What has this country committed to?

Tanzania has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Tanzania co-sponsored the 2013 and 2014 UN General Assembly resolutions on child, early and forced marriage, and signed a joint statement at the 2014 Human Rights Council calling for a resolution on child marriage.

Tanzania ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1985, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.

In 2007 Tanzania ratified the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, which includes an Article related to equal and free consent in marriage.

In 2003 Tanzania ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, including Article 21 regarding the prohibition of child marriage.

Tanzania is one of 20 countries which has committed to ending child marriage by the end of 2020 under the Ministerial Commitment on comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people in Eastern and Southern Africa.

At the Girl Summit in July 2014, the Government of Tanzania signed a charter committing to end child marriage by 2020.

During its 2016 Universal Periodic Review, Tanzania supported recommendations to accelerate efforts to end child marriage.

What is the government doing to address this at the national level?

The National Plan of Action to End Violence against Women and Children 2017/18-2021/22 addresses the need to end child marriage. In 2017, implementation plans were formed for eight regions.

As of 2018 the Government is in the process of developing a National Plan of Action on FGM/C and Child Marriage, which was delayed following the 2015 general elections.

The Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children conducted a National Survey on the Drivers and Consequences of Child Marriage in 2017.

In 2014, the “Child Marriage-Free Zone” National Campaign to End Child Marriage was launched in Mara region, calling for a review of discriminatory laws and action from the health, education and legal sectors to prevent child marriage. Other regions in Tanzania are now launching similar campaigns in collaboration with UNFPA.

Gender and Children desks have been established in 417 district police stations in Tanzania, alongside a Child Helpline piloted in six regions to assist victims of violence, including child marriage. Child friendly courts and child protection committees have also been established at district and ward level.

Tanzania’s Child Development Policy (2008) acknowledges that marrying at 15 deprives a child of his or her rights.

In 2015 Parliamentarians for Global Action held a capacity building discussion on child, early and forced marriage. 40 Tanzanian MPs analysed the root causes of child marriage and shared best practice with colleagues from Malawi and Ghana.

President John Magufuli has stirred up controversy in the past year after endorsing a law dating back to the 1960s allowing state schools to expel young mothers. Over the past decade more than 55,000 Tanzanian pregnant schoolgirls have been expelled from school, according to a 2013 report by the Center for Reproductive Rights. Women’s groups said the ban is out of touch with public opinion and breaks international human rights conventions. It also contradicts a promise set out in the ruling party’s 2015 election manifesto, which pledged to allow pregnant school girls to continue with their studies.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

The Law of Marriage Act 1971 allows for boys to marry at 18 years and girls to marry at 14 with consent of the court, and at the age of 15 with parental consent.

In July 2016, the Constitutional Court ruled that marriage under the age of 18 was illegal, and stated that sections 13 and 17 of the Marriage Act (with its exceptions) were unconstitutional. This landmark ruling was the result of a petition by Mischana Initiative, a Girls Not Brides member. The matter is the subject of an appeal by the Attorney General of the State.

Source

African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, [website], 2018, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/child/ratification (accessed February 2018)

African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, [website], 2018, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ (accessed February 2018)

Children’s Dignity Forum/FORWARD, Peer Research Report on Child Marriage in Tarime District, Mara Region, Tanzania, 2009, http://www.cdftz.org/files/Peer%20Research%20edited%20doc.pdf (accessed March 2018)

Children’s Dignity Forum/FORWARD, Voices of Child Brides and Child Mothers in Tanzania: A PEER Report on Child Marriage, 2014, http://www.forwarduk.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Voices-of-Child-Brides-in-Tanzania.pdf (accessed March 2018)

Girl Summit 2014, The Girl Summit Charter on Ending FGM and Child, Early and Forced Marriage, [website], 2015, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/459236/Public_Girl_Summit_Charter_with_Signatories.pdf (accessed February 2018)

Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, Child Development Policy, 2008, http://www.tzonline.org/pdf/childdevelopmentpolicy.pdf (accessed March 2018)

Human Rights Watch, No Way Out, Child Marriage and Human Rights Abuses in Tanzania, 2014, https://www.hrw.org/report/2014/10/29/no-way-out/child-marriage-and-human-rights-abuses-tanzania (accessed March 2018)

Ministerial Commitment on comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people in Eastern and Southern African, [website], 2014, http://youngpeopletoday.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/ESA-Commitment-FINAL-Affirmed-on-7th-December.pdf (accessed February 2018)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Joint statement on child, early and forced marriage, HRC 27, Agenda Item 3, [website], 2014,
http://fngeneve.um.dk/en/aboutus/statements/newsdisplaypage/?newsid=6371ad93-8fb0-4c35-b186-820fa996d379 (accessed April 2018)

Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Child Marriage in Tanzania at a Glance, 2017, http://www.mcdgc.go.tz/data/Child_Marriage_Study.pdf (accessed March 2018)

Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, National Survey on the Drivers and Consequences of Child Marriage in Tanzania, 2017, http://forwarduk.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Forward-230-Page-Report-2017-WEB.pdf (accessed March 2018)

Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey and Malaria Indicator Survey 2015-2016, 2016, https://dhsprogram.com/pubs/pdf/FR321/FR321.pdf (accessed March 2018)

Parliamentarians for Global Action, Capacity Building Session on Child, Early and Forced Marriage for Tanzanian Parliamentarians – Segment One, [website], 2015, http://www.pgaction.org/news/capacity-building-session-cefm-tz.html (accessed March 2018)

Plan International, Refugee Girls Must Not Fear Their Periods, 2017,
https://plan-international.org/blog/2017/06/refugee-girls-must-not-fear-their-periods (accessed February 2018)

Plan International, Tanzania: Fighting FGM and Child Marriage, [website], undated, https://plan-international.org/EU/case-study-tanzania-FGM-child-marriage (accessed March 2018)

UNFPA, Adolescent Pregnancy: A Review of the Evidence, 2013, https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/ADOLESCENT%20PREGNANCY_UNFPA.pdf (accessed March 2018)

UNFPA, Marrying Too Young, 2012, https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/MarryingTooYoung.pdf (accessed March 2018)

UN General Assembly, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: United Republic of Tanzania, 2016, p.17, https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/TZindex.aspx (accessed March 2018)

United Nations, Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, [website], 2017, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg5 (accessed February 2018)

United Nations Tanzania, Launch of the National Ending Child Marriage Campaign – “Child Marriage-Free Zone”, [website], 2015, http://tz.one.un.org/media-centre/news-archive/122-launch-of-the-national-ending-child-marriage-campaign-child-marriage-free-zone (accessed March 2018)

University of Jyväskylä, Causes and motives of early marriage in The Gambia and Tanzania, [website], 2018, https://jyx.jyu.fi/dspace/bitstream/handle/123456789/55704/978-951-39-7225-7.pdf?sequence=1 (accessed April 2018)

Fait référence au pourcentage de femmes âgées de 20 à 24 ans qui ont été mariées ou en concubinage avant le l’âge de 15 ou 18 ans.