By Anne Robi
A local non-profit civil society organisation (HAKIELIMU) has launched a campaign aimed at hastening achievement of the 'girl child education' as well as emphasizing on the need for pregnant schoolgirls to attend schools after childbirth.
HakiElimu Executive Director John Kalage said yesterday in Dar es Salaam that the campaign comes in the wake of many challenges that hinder the majority of girls from achieving their long-term education goals.
"The challenges include among others environmental, traditions and financial constraints that set obstacles on the right to education for the majority of girls in this country," he said.
The five-year campaign to be conducted in 127 villages across the country would also focus on emphasizing the need for the government to speed up the enactment of a law to allow pregnant schoolchildren attend classes after childbirth.
"We (HaKiElimu) deem education as a right to every child including pregnant schoolgirls ... being pregnant does not confiscate right to education for that particular girl child," he said.
He said expelling the pregnant pupils is an abuse of the girls and their innocent new born-babies. Mr Kalage said that 2015 statistic; indicate that 3,690 school-girls in Primary schools in Tanzania fell pregnant.
"The girls were expelled from school due to pregnancy and thus cutting off their dreams of achieving their right to education," he said and insisting that the government has the obligation to en sure the girls resume classes by speeding up the enactment of the law on forcing the developments.
Defending the movement of the law to ensure the pregnant girls resume schools, Mr Kalage said that the majority of the girls trapped under the menace were due to external environmental factors including sexual abuse and those who were lured due to various life challenges.
Published on All Africa on June 22, 2017.
By Louis Kolumbia L
At least 4,148 girls were saved from undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM) in Serengeti District in Mara Region in 2016. According to a recent Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) report, cases of FGM in the country have dropped by 5 per cent.
Launched on Wednesday, the report shows that the girls saved from undergoing FGM were equivalent to 74 per cent of 5,621 girls planned for it in the year and 1,473 girls did undergo FGM.
FGM practice violates girls and women's rights that is why it is a criminal offence under Tanzania's legislation. Launching the report, LHRC researcher Paul Mikongoti said the girls were saved following collective efforts by the police, the government and other stakeholders, who launched special a campaign against FGM and saw 32 people arrested and charged in the district. "Although the government in 2016 reported a 5 per cent decrease in FGM cases, the situation could be different as FGM is done in secrecy," he said.
He noted that girls in Serengeti, Tarime and Rorya districts in Mara Region continued undergoing FGM although the report indicated that Tanzania was on the right track in reducing the incidence and protecting girls from FGM.
According to the LHRC report, 82 per cent of women interviewed in the 2015/16 Tanzania Demographic Survey believe that FGM is against their religion and 84 per cent others wished the practice to be discontinued.
Therefore, human rights activists recommend that the police and courts of law should speed up investigation and prosecution of people involved in violence against children, including the FGM.
"Civil society organisations and the Social Welfare Department within local governments should increase public awareness on violence against children and encourage community members to report such cases to the relevant authorities to arrest perpetrators and bring them to justice," reads part of the report. FGM is a big problem in Africa, with the World Health Organisation estimating that three million undergo it annually. Tanzania has the prevalence of 15 per cent from 2004 to mid-2015.
Meanwhile, the report cites child pregnancy and marriage as main contributory factors in school dropouts for girl students. A LHRC biannual human rights report shows that 2 out of 5 girls are forced into marriage before attaining the age stipulated in the Marriage Act of 1971.
The report cites a recent report by the UN Population Fund, which ranks Tanzania the first in East Africa on child pregnancy prevalence and the third in Africa.
Published on All Africa's website on May 7, 2017.
About 40 participants from Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania Mainland, Uganda, Zambia and Zanzibar gathered in Dar Es Salaam this week to pilot the use of the recently released GPE/UNGEI Guidance for developing gender-responsive education sector plans.
The workshop offered the first opportunity to use the guidance, which offers a step-by-step approach to help introduce gender dimensions in sector plans. According to UNESCO GEMR, more than one-third of countries around the world are still to achieve gender parity in primary education. Worldwide, 15 million girls currently out of school are expected never to enroll.
Facilitators guided participants in understanding the key terminology about gender, recognizing what constitutes an enabling environment, collecting and analyzing the relevant data, and defining goals, strategies and activities, and monitoring and evaluation frameworks to ensure that all girls and boys can equally participate and succeed in the education system.
The participants included representatives from education, health and gender-focused ministries, development partners, and civil society organizations.
All participating countries have already made progress in tackling gender inequities in education, whether through passing new laws, adopting policies, making reforms, or training and deploying teachers. The workshop has allowed participants to access innovative tools, which they will further use in their own countries’ local education groups to continue to advocate for gender equality in education.
It’s an essential task, because achieving SDG 4 depends on it.
Published on Partnership for Education's website on March 31, 2017.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child sets out the rights that must be realized for children to develop their full potential, free from hunger and want, neglect and abuse. It reflects a new vision of the child. Children are neither the property of their parents nor are they helpless objects of charity. They are human beings and are the subject of their own rights. The Convention offers a vision of the child as an individual and as a member of a family and community, with rights and responsibilities appropriate to his or her age and stage of development. By recognizing children's rights in this way, the Convention firmly sets the focus on the whole child.