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“I started ironing clothes and he started pulling me to try and rape me. I was lucky the younger brother came back and rang the doorbell–he then left,” 21-year-old “Basma N.,” (not her real name) told me. In February in Dar es Salaam,…
Poster detailing domestic workers’ rights at the office of Zanzibar: Conservation, Hotels, Domestic and Allied Workers Union (CHODAWU-Z).  Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania.
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Summary I liked to study so that I could have a wide mind. There was nothing I didn’t like [to study]. I had a dream to finish school and go to college, graduate, and work as an accountant. Like millions of adolescents in…
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Finance, Carry Out National Action Plans

(Nairobi) – African governments should coordinate action to improve laws, education, health care, and public awareness to end the scourge of child marriage, Human Rights Watch said today on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2015. Forty percent…
A young, unmarried girl stands amid a herd of cattle outside Bor, the capital of Jonglei State.  Cattle carry significant social, economic, and cultural importance for South Sudan's pastoralist ethnic groups, which use cows for payment of dowry.
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Opening the Door for Girls' Education, Health, and Freedom from Violence

Introduction I faced a lot of problems in marriage. I was young and did not know how to be a wife. I was pregnant, had to look after my husband, do housework, deal with in-laws, and work on the farm. My worst time was…
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Victim of Alleged Attack by AU Soldiers and Witnesses Harassed

(Nairobi) – Somali authorities should order a new, impartial, and transparent investigation into an alleged gang-rape by African Union (AU) soldiers. The case has been marred by mismanagement, opacity, and the harassment of the female rape survivor and…
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On June 26, the world commemorates the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. In Tanzania, however, such commemorations are likely to be muted. Tanzania is among a small minority of countries that have not signed or ratified the Convention…
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People Most at Risk Driven Underground by Discrimination, Violence

(Dar es Salaam) – Tanzanians who are most at risk of HIV face widespread police abuse and often can’t get help when they are victims of crime, Human Rights Watch and the Wake Up and Step Forward Coalition (WASO) said in a report released today. …
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For years now, women’s groups in Southern Africa have campaigned tirelessly to ensure that the Southern African Development Community adopt the Protocol on Gender and Development. Yesterday, the SADC finally took that historic step. Member states will be…
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Summit Leaders Should Act on Equality for Women

(Johannesburg) - Southern African leaders should adopt the proposed Gender and Development Protocol at their upcoming summit after amending it to include crucial provisions deleted in 2007, Human Rights Watch said today. One of the most important…