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Policing Sportswomen’s Bodies Undermines Rights of Women and Girls

This week, at a ceremony hosting the Tanzania men’s football team, President Samia Suluhu made remarks that cast aspersions on the “femininity” and gender of Tanzanian women footballers. Her comments have received widespread condemnation from women…
Tanzania's President Samia Suluhu Hassan speaks during a tour of the Tanga region of Tanzania on March 16, 2021. 
News

President Suluhu Should Support Education of Pregnant Girls

Tanzania’s first woman president, Samia Suluhu, took office in March 2021. Her administration has the opportunity to call on education authorities to end the exclusion of pregnant and married girls from public schools. She should urge them to adopt a…
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
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New Q&A on Discrimination Against Pregnant Students, Young Mothers

(Washington, DC, April 24, 2020) – The World Bank should work with the Tanzanian government to ensure that all pregnant girls and adolescent mothers can attend public schools, Human Rights Watch said in a question and answer document…
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Should Require End to Ban on Pregnant Girls’ Schooling

(Washington, DC) – The World Bank has approved a US$500 million education loan to Tanzania without requiring the government to end its policy of expelling pregnant schoolgirls, Human Rights Watch said today. On March 31, 2020, the World…
© 2017 Marco Tibasima for Human Rights Watch
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Require Government to Admit all Girls Before Approving Education Loan

(Washington, DC) – The World Bank may reverse its hold on a US$500 million education loan to Tanzania despite the government’s policy of expelling pregnant schoolgirls. On January 28, 2020, the World Bank Board of Executive…
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
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In late 2018, Sierra Leone's First Lady, Fatima Bio, opened a national campaign "Hands Off Our Girls."   Her campaign made big promises to reduce child marriages and teenage pregnancies in the country, in part to tackle the…
“Angela,” 20, walks with her son near her home after returning from school in Migori county, western Kenya
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Court of Appeal Upholds 2016 Ruling Barring Marriage Before 18

Girls and boys in Tanzania have cause to celebrate: child marriage is now illegal in the country. Tanzania’s Marriage Act of 1971 sets the minimum marriage age for girls at 15 with parental consent, and 18 for boys. It…
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Government Should Ensure Pregnant Teens, Young Mothers go to School

Human rights groups are cranking up the pressure to get Tanzania’s government to quash its absurd and discriminatory ban on pregnant girls and teenage mothers attending school. This week, a Tanzanian human rights organization…
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
News

Can the Bulldozer Really Change Gear?

It is not often that the World Bank publicly adopts a critical stance that stands up for human rights in one of its client countries, and does so even before other donors with human rights-focused foreign policies. …
Tanzania Sisi Kwa Sisi Foundation, a non-governmental LGBT youth organization based in Dar Es Salaam. On October 17, 2017, police raided a workshop at a hotel in Dar Es Salaam, where lawyers and activists were meeting to discuss HIV preve
News

The Church Should Reject Policies that Hinder Girls’ Access to Schools

Representatives of the Catholic church in Eastern Africa will meet in Addis Ababa later this week to discuss “vibrant diversity, equal dignity, and peaceful unity” in the region. A good place to start would be to change the…
“Angela,” 20, walks with her son near her home after returning from school in Migori county, western Kenya
News

African Governments Should Ensure Right to Education

  (Nairobi) - Tens of thousands of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers are banned or discouraged from attending school across Africa, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today, ahead of the Day of the African Child…
Students enrolled in the final year of lower secondary school in the classroom in a village in Kolda region, southern Senegal. Adolescent mothers and married girls study in this school.
Report
Summary When the head teacher found out that I was pregnant, he called me to his office and told me, “You have to leave our school immediately because you are pregnant.” —Jamida K., Kahama, Tanzania, April 2014 We don’t allow pregnant girls to…
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Nepal Was Far Ahead of Its Neighbors in Protecting Reproductive Rights

I am the daughter of a formidable campaigner for women’s reproductive rights in Nepal. Decades ago, when such issues were not part of the playbook for development activists, my mother, a medical doctor, started setting up family…
Women activists lie down on the road during a protest demanding women’s rights in the constitution in Kathmandu, Nepal, August 7, 2015.
News

‘Yes’ Vote Ends 35 Years of Shame and Secrecy for Irish Women and Girls

The first vote I ever cast was in one of the six referendums that Ireland has had on abortion. Today, I watched with tears of joy as it became clear that two-thirds of Irish people voted to repeal the 35-year constitutional ban on…
Women celebrate the result of yesterday's referendum on liberalizing abortion law, in Dublin, Ireland, May 26, 2018.
News

Women Were Incorrectly Cleared as Cancer-Free

Cervical cancer need not be a death sentence. Between vaccination, routine screening, timely follow up, and early detection, cervical cancer is preventable and highly curable. When a woman dies from cervical cancer, something went wrong. For at least 17…
Vicky Phelan speaks on the Ray D'Arcy Show. Phelan was first diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014, although a screening test from 2011 should have found strong indications of the presence of cancer.
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“If you want to go back [home], you have to pay back the money we spent to bring you here.” “Atiya Z.” (not her real name) and I were sitting under a veranda, shaded from the hot sun in Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital of Tanzania, when…
Employment visa from Oman in the passport of a former Tanzanian domestic worker. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
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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.
News

Tanzania Weak Protections Leave Their Domestic Workers Exposed to Abuse in Gulf Countries

  “Basma” (name changed for her safety) carefully unwrapped the headscarf she had neatly tied on her head to reveal the rest of her thick, black hair. She ran her fingers through, searching her scalp, then parted her hair to reveal a long scar on…
201711wrd_tanzania_domesticworkers
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Tanzanian domestic workers in Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) face excessive working hours, unpaid salaries, and physical and sexual abuse. Abusive visa-sponsorship rules in those countries and gaps in Tanzania’s policies leave the women exposed…