23 June 2017

Tanzania: Social Media Users React to JPM's Decision On Teen Mothers

Photo: Daily News
First Lady Salma Kikwete (file photo).

Dar es Salaam — President John Magufuli's remarks that girls, who are impregnated, while at school won't be allowed to resume studies after delivery, has drawn heated debate on various social media platforms.

Twitter users were the first to create a hash tag #ArudiShule to oppose President Magufuli's decision.

Girls' rights activist Rebecca Gyumi, who is also the founder of Msichana Initiative, an organisation, which fights for girls' rights, said the girl had a right to attain her academic dreams even if she was impregnated.

She also used social media to reiterate her call for the government to change suppressive laws towards girls, including the Law of Marriage Act, 1971.

Kigoma Urban MP and ACT-Wazalendo leader Zitto Kabwe posted on his twitter account, which cited Article 11(2) of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977.

"Every person has the right to access education, and every citizen shall be free to pursue education in a field or his choice up to pursue education of his choice to his merit and ability, the highest level according to his merits and ability," reads his post.

Ms Rahab Mbise and Petrider Paul maintained that there was a need for girls to be allowed back to school after giving birth, asking Dr Magufuli to rethink his decision.

Another Twitter user, Togolani Mvula, suggests that the best way that could be used to fight against schoolgirl pregnancies is by sending them to boarding schools at least up to Form Four.

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