These harmful effects take the heaviest toll on the youngest brides.This report documents the particularly severe impact of child marriage on girls’ education.Tanzanian schools routinely conduct mandatory pregnancy tests of girls, a serious infringement of their rights to privacy, equality, and autonomy.
Human Rights Watch documented cases where girls as young as seven were married.
Child marriage is deeply embedded in Tanzanian society.
The practice of dowry payment by the groom to the bride’s family is a key incentive for many families to marry off their daughters.
Some girls see marriage as a way out of poverty, violence, or neglect.
Child marriage undermines access to education - limiting girls’ life opportunities and their ability and confidence to make informed decisions about their lives.
Girls told Human Rights Watch that their parents or guardians withdrew them from school to marry, and they found it difficult to return to school after marriage.
Others, who were unable to escape marriage, described how their husbands beat and raped them and did not allow them to make any decisions in their homes.
A large number also said their husbands abandoned them and left them to care for children without any financial support.
Girls who became pregnant or married were frequently expelled.
Tanzanian government policy allows schools to expel or exclude students who enter marriage or commit an offense “against morality,” which is often understood to mean pre-marital sex or pregnancy.
Human Rights Watch investigated the factors contributing to child marriage, the severe harms and rights abuses associated with it, and the risks girls face when they resist marriage.