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  • Organisation

    Msichana Initiative is a registered non-governmental organisation, established to advocate for the girl child’s right to education in Tanzania. This includes addressing and finding solution for all key challenge that may limit girl child’s right to education. The initiative seeks to ensure this inherent right is given to all human beings without due regard to gender, discrimination, economic conditions, cultural, social and political justification.  Msichana Initiative aims to impact the lives of young girls and women between the ages of 10 -25.

    The organisational vision is to create a society with empowered girls, who are able to realise their full potential through advocating for their right to education. In 2017 Msichana organisation through their director Rebeca Gyumi won a land mark legal case to raise the minimum of marriage to 18.

    • Organisation

      Msichana Initiative is a registered non-governmental organisation, established to advocate for the girl child’s right to education in Tanzania. This includes addressing and finding solution for all key challenge that may limit girl child’s right to education. The initiative seeks to ensure this inherent right is given to all human beings without due regard to gender, discrimination, economic conditions, cultural, social and political justification.  Msichana Initiative aims to impact the lives of young girls and women between the ages of 10 -25.

      The organisational vision is to create a society with empowered girls, who are able to realise their full potential through advocating for their right to education. In 2017 Msichana organisation through their director Rebeca Gyumi won a land mark legal case to raise the minimum of marriage to 18.

    • Project

      As a result of the persistent problem of Child Marriage in Tanzania -particularly in rural areas- many young girls are denied their right to education and forced to get married at a very tender age (below 18 years).  One of the reasons child marriage practices persist is due to a legal  loophole that permits these practices. Thus far the law has not been amended as ordered by the High Court of Tanzania in its judgment made following the petition filed by Msichana Initiative through its Executive Director Ms. Rebeca Gyumi. The petition sought to bring changes into the Law of Marriage Act of 1971 by amending sections 13 and 17 of this Act. In this case, the High Court of Tanzania had ordered the government to change the law within 1 year (July 2016 – July 2017), however the government has appealed the case through the Court of Appeal

      As part of the Voice project Msichana intends to lobby the responsible Ministries to reinforce the amendments of section 13 and 17 of the Law of Marriage Act.  In addition the very good evidence Msichana presented during the legal proceedings will be used as case law or jurisprudence in the current child marriage cases. However Msichana has not been able to strategically popularise it to organisations that are pursuing cases for child protection. This project will allow them to do so.

  • Project

    As a result of the persistent problem of Child Marriage in Tanzania -particularly in rural areas- many young girls are denied their right to education and forced to get married at a very tender age (below 18 years).  One of the reasons child marriage practices persist is due to a legal  loophole that permits these practices. Thus far the law has not been amended as ordered by the High Court of Tanzania in its judgment made following the petition filed by Msichana Initiative through its Executive Director Ms. Rebeca Gyumi. The petition sought to bring changes into the Law of Marriage Act of 1971 by amending sections 13 and 17 of this Act. In this case, the High Court of Tanzania had ordered the government to change the law within 1 year (July 2016 – July 2017), however the government has appealed the case through the Court of Appeal

    As part of the Voice project Msichana intends to lobby the responsible Ministries to reinforce the amendments of section 13 and 17 of the Law of Marriage Act.  In addition the very good evidence Msichana presented during the legal proceedings will be used as case law or jurisprudence in the current child marriage cases. However Msichana has not been able to strategically popularise it to organisations that are pursuing cases for child protection. This project will allow them to do so.

  • Results

    Msichana mwenye ndoto ni moto - A girl with a dream is on fire

    Msichana Initiative appealed to the High court of Tanzania challenging the constitutionality of child marriage in Tanzania in 2017. Gyumi and her team demanded that the government of Tanzania give girls equal protection under the law.

    In October 2019 Msichana Initiative received a years-long victory over Tanzanian authorities when the High Court of Appeal of Tanzania in Dar es Salaam rejected Marriage of a girl child below the age of 18. This ruling supported that child marriage would be formally viewed as unconstitutional and unlawful throughout the country. The court thus ordered the government to amend the Marriage Act by 2020 and ruled that the legal marriage age for both men and women should be recognized as 18 years.

    The out of school girls who are members of the Msichana cafes (groups) formulated by MIO have started reporting and doing follow-ups on cases involving girls in their communities. They are working closely with the local government authorities and the police gender desks. Examples of reported cases by Msichana café include the two below.

    • A case reported in Tabora town involving a girl (18years) who was chased at night by her mother. She didn’t bring money from their small business which she was running after being forced to leave school. As a result, she got raped that night. Through Msichana café efforts the mother of the girl was remanded and she is still in police custody.
    • Another case reported in Shinyanga town was of forced marriage of a Form 2 student. Her father had already accepted a dowry offer from the family of the man who had proposed. Msichana café took this case to the police but the case was sent back to the village authority for hearing. Ward development officer together with Msichana café leaders called the accused with the parents of the girl to see whether they would change their minds before using the law. The parents of the girl returned the dowry offer following the warning given by local authority officials with Msichana café leaders and now the girl is continuing with her studies.

    Msichana café have owned their group and initiated a collaboration with the government in their respective regions by sharing their action plan with local government authority. Three (3) Msichana cafes on Nzega, Shinyanga district and Municipal have shared their action plan with District Community Development Officer for their reference and action. As a result leaders of Msichana café in Nzega were involved in the district meeting with community-based organisations as partners. Later they were invited to the Prime Minister’s visit to Tabora as part of girls representatives from Nzega. Msichana café in Shinyanga district has established a girl club in Tinde primary where they educate the girls about their rights and how to stand up and speak out. They also create awareness in health centres, market centres and households on the importance of investing in girl education.

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