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Thursday, Apr 17th

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Gender violence in Tanzania - ruining education

Gender violence in Tanzania

As per The Citizen's report, schools and communities lack in protecting girls from violence and provide them basic rights, even though gender discrimination is illegal today. Violence has been one of the major reasons for girls lacking behind in access to quality education in Tanzania as well as other developing countries. Although girls and boys should be treated as equal, entitling similar rights for both of them, gender inequity is the cause why young girls have to face child poverty to a large extent.

As according to a study carried out by United Nations Children's Fund Violence against Children (UNICEF VAC), it was noticed that 30% of the girls are victims of sexual harassment. Moreover, it was also seen that around 50% of the sexual violence took place at home. Similarly, more than 15% of such harassment occurs in school and over 23% is seen occurring while travelling. The percentage of girls affected by such situations continues to be the same in some parts of the world while in other parts; it is seen rising day-by-day.

Child marriage as well, is a serious concern in today's society. It is seen that over 35% of girls enter into marriage at tender age, less than 15 which results into unwanted pregnancies, thereby causing severe health risks and death as well. According to the records, 90% of girls giving birth are from an age group of 15-19 where pregnancy related issues are one of the leading causes of death among the same age group. 2010, UN report says that, girls who interrupt education due to pregnancy have reached a number of 8,000 per year. Moreover, they have health risks like obstetric fistula, HIV infection and certain other disabilities which are life threatening. Though it is seen that teenage pregnancy rates have fallen, the change is not as expected, continuing the pregnancy associated deaths.

The Citizen's report suggests that, education proves to be a helpful tool in order to reduce such kind of violence and death risks. According to study, uneducated girls or those who never have been to school are more likely to get married, than those who have pursued minimum of secondary education. Likewise, if girls pursue education, they can think over good future, for them as well as their family, and develop fine understanding regarding every aspect of life.

In December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly announced 11th October as the International Day of Girl Child. This year, it focused on child marriage, rights of girls and challenges they face. Moreover, the Plan International global campaign would run till 2016 benefitting more than 4 million girls worldwide and 300,000 girls in Tanzania.