Tanzania Law of Marriage Act of 1971 amendment at Advanced Stage !

A Government review of the outlived Marriage Act 1971 seeking to empower women and curb child marriage is now at advanced stage, according to Minister for Constitution and Legal Affairs Dr Harrison Mwakyembe.

The Minister said here yesterday the government had opted for guidance on the matter from the Referral Court instead of tabling the bill of amendments in the National Assembly.
“The exercise which has been initiated with the White Paper to seek public opinion will be complete soon,” Mr Mwakyembe said when responding to Special Seats MP Amina Makilagi (CCM).

Even though the government admitted the heavily criticised law had some loopholes which delayed justices especially to a girl child and women. “We have appealed to the referral court to allow a thorough deliberation of the law,” he said.
Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe - Minister of Constitution and Legal Affairs 
The minister’s remark followed a supplementary question from Ms Makilagi, who demanded to know why the government had appealed at the Referral Court regarding a case filed to press the government amend the law.The lawmaker also inquired clarification on the plans to table the bill of amendment in the law-making body.

In response, Mr Mwakyembe said process to amend the law was in progress in the ministry. He said the ministry had therefore resolved the matter be discussed for a clear understanding.However, the Minister said Tanzania has made some positive strides in empowering women, including enacting and amending her laws to promote gender equality.
He said earlier a divorced woman walked away with nothing. But the new laws embed requirements for matrimonial property distribution. “Women now own property ... for the record, a huge number of people in prison today are serving long jail terms for abuse and gender based violence,” the Minister said.
Dr Mwakyembe said the current marriage law was approved after a long deliberation through a White Paper No 1 of 1969 involving faith, normal and traditional practices.
After 20 years the law was enacted.
Dr Mwakyembe said the government through the Tanzania Legal Reform Commission analysed the marriage law, identifying some shortcomings which would be amended. He reminded that a fist White Paper was prepared in 2008.
This post was first published in the Dailynews Tanzania >   http://www.dailynews.co.tz/index.php/home-news/53665-marriage-act-at-advanced-stage-mwakyembe