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Tanzania Court of Appeal upholds ruling against child marriage

25 Oct 2019

A Tanzanian court has upheld a ruling banning the marriage of girls under the age of 18 and won praise from human rights activists.

In 2016, the Tanzanian High Court ruled laws allowing girls as young as 15 to be married with the permission of their parents, or even 14 with the permission of a court, were unconstitutional and discriminatory, but the state appealed against the ruling.

"We reject this appeal as it has no foundation," the appeals court judges wrote in their ruling, giving the Government one year to amend the law.

In the initial ruling, the court found the current law discriminatory, as the legal age for men to marry is 18, and said it was contradictory that a girl considered too young to vote would be allowed to marry.

"It is a great day for Tanzanian girls," the NGO Wasichana Initiative, which fights for girls' rights, wrote on Twitter.

On average, two out of five Tanzanian girls are married before their 18th birthday, according to Government statistics.#

Source: eNCA