• Blandina Malinzi

The fight against child marriage: girls are not brides!

It’s time for us as a community to fight for our children’s rights they are the pillar of our community and society, they are being violated and exploited in every corner this is not right.

Children are precious, they are the future of any family unit and in a sense the nation they are the future for development. It’s time that the Government makes the fight to end child marriage a top priority.

Children need to feel safe and we should be striving to create a safe haven for them. Their health and well-being matters a lot because how they grow, how they are brought up will determine the quality of their future. (Photo credit of Tai studio).

Child marriage in Africa and worldwide has been going on for years. A human rights violation, child marriage directly impacts girl’s education, health, and psychological well being. It increases high risk of depression, sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) or sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) and are prone to sexual violence.

According to Girls Not Brides Organization, they put forward that Tanzania has one of the highest child marriage prevalence rates in the world. Almost two out of five girls are married before they are 18 years of age. A situation that is even more prevalent in rural areas as girls aged from 11 years get married and are made a support system for their families through dowry and bride price. This is practice common in various parts of the world.

Adolescent girls are usually forced into marriage as an alternative once they fail to pass school examinations and mandatory pregnancy tests become an excuse for permanent expulsion of pregnant girls from the education system which. All these practice are violation a girl rights.

“Educating girls, ending child marriage could accelerate development progress and reduction of poverty in Tanzania, in contrast the perpetuation of child marriage and the lack of education for girls would lead to lower earnings for women, substantial health risks, higher intimate partner violence, higher population growth, and higher poverty among other impacts”, states 2019 report by World Bank.

We must put an end to this disappointing reality so that our children can achieve their dreams and become successful and live in harmony where they are not afraid. We all have a part to play in making it stop!

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