Press Release Statement on Attorney Generals Notice to Appeal Against the Child Marriage Case held 4th August 2016 at the Legal Human Rights Center

From Left Mr. Koshuma Mtengeti - Executive Director at Children's Dignity Forum ,Ms. Valerie Msoka - The Chairperson of the Tanzania Ending Child Marriage Network, Ms. Hellen Bisimba - The Chairperson of Legal and Human Rights Center and Ms. Rebeca Gyumi -The Executive Director of Mschina Initiative addressing the Press release

On 4th August 2016 ,in Dar es Salaam 

The Tanzania Ending Child Marriage Network (TECMN) issues the following statement regarding the intention of the office of the Attorney General to appeal against High Court's decision in the case Rebeca Gyumi vs A.G. The A.G being dissatisfied with the decision of the Honorable Justice Lila PJ Kihiyo J and Munisi J given at Dar es Salaam on 8th day of July 2016 has served the petitioner with notice of appeal against the whole decision.

The High Court of Tanzania's judgement declared section 13 and 17 of the Law of Marriage Act 1971 which allowed for a girl child to be married at 14 and 15 years unconstitutional and that the mentioned sections have lost their usefulness and they no longer serve the purpose and further directed the government through the Attorney General to correct the anomaly in the Law of Marriage Act within one year.

We are saddened by this decision, recognising the growing national and regional momentum on child protection discourse. 
"It is essential that the Attorney General is  held to account, and reminded to recognize the serious implication the appeal will have to the status of child marriage in Tanzania.  According to UNFPA on average , almost two out of five girls will be married before their 18th birthday and from DHS report, 37% of women aged 20-24 are married /in union before 18 years leading to young girls being victims of domestic and sexual violence , isolated and psychologically traumatized, least educated and living in poverty"
"Tanzania Ending Child Marriage Network (TECMN) therefore calls on the Government of Tanzania to exercise the protection and promotion of women and girls, and as a signatory of the UN Sustainable Development Goals of which Goal 5 is on Gender Equality and the Africa Union Agenda 2063, should aim at eliminating all forms of gender-based violence and discrimination (socially, economically and politically) against women and children so that they fully exercise their human rights. The government should also aim at ending all harmful social practices, especially female genital mutilation and child marriages as well as the elimination of all barriers to quality health and education for women and girls. For Tanzania to successfully achieve its Vision 2025, it must put in place and implement policies and laws which protect and promote women and girls in the country.”

Thank you for listening.
The Tanzania Ending Child Marriage Network is Comprised of the following members:
Children’s Dignity Forum Tanzania (CDF) , Legal And Human Rights Centre (LHRC), Msichana Initiative , Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) , Women Wake Up(WOWAP) , Youth Achievement Village In Tanzania(YAVT) , C-Sema , Network Against Female Genital Mutilation (NAFGEM) , Right To Play Tanzania (RTP) , Centre For Widows And Children Assistance (CWCA) , Women’s Legal Aid Centre (WLAC), Utu Mwanamke ,Tanzania Media Women’s Association (TAMWA),Safety Kwanza – Tanzania , Taasisi Ya Maendeleo Shirikishi Arusha (TAMASHA)  ,Makangarawe Youth Information And Development Centre (MYIDC) , Children Education Society (CHESO)  ,Dogodogo Centre (DGCT) , Agape Aids Control Programme (AACP) , Baba Watoto Center, , Ekama Foundation , Art In Tanzania , Tanzania Women And Children Welfare Center (TWCWC) , Plan International ,ANPPCAN Tz Charter ,SOS Children’s Vollages , Hope for Young Girls , Wadada Center ,PEN Tanzania , Oasis For Orphans (Tz) Group , Save The Children  and  The Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA) .

Released and Signed by :

Valerie Msoka
TECMN Chairperson