6Tanzania’s Law of Marriage Act (1971) allows for boys to marry at 18 and girls to marry at 15; and as young as 14 if courts approve their request.
Girls under 18 need parental permission to marry. In addition, Customary Laws run parallel to Statutory Laws, allowing each ethnic group to follow and make decisions based on its customs and traditions. A minimum age of marriage is not provided in the constitution. Although the High Court ruled in 2016 that the Act is discriminatory and must be revised, Tanzania’s Attorney General appealed against the ruling in 2017.
However, Tanzania has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals, and Tanzania is one of 20 countries which has committed to ending child marriage by the end of 2020.7
CAMFED Tanzania contributed to the formulation of the National Plan of Action to end Violence against Women and Children at the invitation of the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC).
Importantly, the young women leaders in the CAMFED Association of graduates are now at the forefront of tackling child marriage in their communities, working with schools, parents, education authorities, traditional leaders, social workers and the police to catalyze action for vulnerable girls.
In 2018, the Permanent Secretary of MoHCDGEC chose to present CAMFED’s Learner Guide program as best practice in tackling child violence at the End Violence Solutions Summit held in Sweden. In November 2019, as part of the Tanzania Real- time Scaling lab, the program was introduced to 31 members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Social Welfare and Community Development, who are looking to scale workable solutions for citizens in their constituencies.
6. Tanzania Demographic, Health and Malaria Indicator Survey 2015-2016
7. Girls not Brides