ZANZIBAR STONE TOWN MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT DECIDE TO TAKE GIRLS RIGHT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
By Ally Saleh
Many people have come to the defence of young girls who get into wrong side and become pregnant while still at school be it at primary level or secondary one and thus cut off from following their educational programs.
Thus means not only dreams but also hopes are dashed and buried in a grave that most of them would not be able even to trace as they grow old and lament only. But then lamenting will not be enough because their lack of education might be an obstacle to their development and end up in the poverty cycle.
Most people believe that pregnancy in young girls is never wanted but these young females are caught at a time when they are not only naïve but also at an age where foolishness is only thing they do. And on top of it both young men and those of old age with good cash flow pry on these innocent souls and and trap them.
Some feel it is cruel to blame a girl of 13 or even 16 and 17 to have willingly made a choice of entering sex life and hence with no education to protect herself from becoming pregnant but even from being passed with HIV AIDS or any other sexual transmitted diseases.
A month ago a debate ensued at the Parliament about change of the 1971 Law of Marriage Act in order to change marriage age in Tanzania and a big shout was recorded with two opposing sides arguing their cases with no results. Those who refuse lean on morality and those who want it be raised to be 18 lean of reality.
There not even consensus with the Cabinet Members as the then newly appointed Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs Professor Palmagamba Kabudi took a cautious approach saying the government was still synthesizing the issue while Minister for Women and Health Ummy Mwallimu skipping out of official Budget presentation notes indicated that things were moving on to effect changes.
But while the debate is still raging in the public domain with consensus being sought with activists charging time was up for the changes, the traditionalist especially those with religious inclinations have been saying this was only going to happen over their dead bodies.
The latter’s argument is that if a girl was pregnant and returned to classes after delivery will poison the others on their habits, which tends to assume that the only bad thing is to become pregnant ignoring the very act of having sex which is not committed only by the girl who becomes pregnant but many and most others around her.
Secondly, it is as if Tanzania would be the only country in the world to do the act of getting girls back to school and as if Tanzania is the most morally clean side in the world. The argument being thrust forward is week as if we have do not have examples of thousands of girls who went through this and yet succeeded in life and become inspirational to many others.
The same thing about this girl thing is to find President Magufuli and his Vice President demonstrate conflicting views in public. While President Magufuli vehemently says this will not happen in his term of leadership, the person who ran on the same ticket publicly says this should happen now and mainly because such girls are victim and erring at such age does not stop them from forging their way back into morality and success.
I feel strongly that it is high time a national debate was called to engage the public on this very important issue and it should not be the right of politicians to draw a line or even decide.
This country has a lot of questions to answer on the state of morality and decay of values from top to bottom. Who has that high moral ground to say that young girls become pregnant on their own wish. My God what a statement to make.
Girls do not get pregnant by themselves. Men predators award them because of their lust and this lust is ever present in any society that pretends not to see it, and thus easy to lay a blame to sometime innocent girls.
Wake up my people, wake Tanzania, ignoring and bashing that girl today we are only creating a nation of desperate, ignorant and dependent society of girls who would only go back to do what they would be forced to do.
What examples do we have of repeated offenders on such an issue, as compared to repeated offenders and criminality and yet we forgive and accept them back in the society.
What bigger sin would a teen girl would have committed not to warrant a second chance when chances are given to those who do not deserve to lead us, to govern our resources and to decide on our behalf in the decision making bodies.
How many repent and successive stories would one want to hear of girls who made it in life after a fault in their young ages. How many stories would one want to hear of those who did not get pregnant early but yet are the worst example of their lives when they had capacity to make decision?
I stand for girls who make mistake, which is only human, and please join me, so that we change and we create a path for them with no obstacle but light and hope.