Tanzania

Tanzania: Equality Now calls upon the government of Tanzania to halt the on-going genital mutilation of girls and women in the Tarime district

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2010 Dec 3

Equality Now is deeply concerned about reports that over 5,000 girls are at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM) during the forthcoming December holiday season in a number of villages of the Tarime District in the Mara Region.

What You Can Do: 

Please join Equality Now and call on the Tanzanian government to immediately ensure that girls from Tarime are protected from FGM and the perpetrators who have carried out the practice there are arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Also urge the government of the United Republic of Tanzanian to ensure that the police take decisive action to enforce the law for the benefit of all girls and women in Tanzania at risk of FGM and that they take other preventative and protective measures as appropriate in accordance with Tanzania’s national and international obligations. TAKE ACTION!

Send letters to:

His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete
President of the United Republic of Tanzania
Office of the President
P.O Box 9120
Dar-es-Salaam, TANZANIA
Tel Office: +255 22 211 6679 or +255 211 0972 or +255 22 211 6538
Personal Mobile: +255 754 777 777
Fax: +255 22 212 8585 or +255 22 211 3425
Email: jkikwete@yahoo.com

Hon. Mizengo Kayanza Peter Pinda
Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania
Office of the Prime Minister
P.O. Box 980, Dodoma.
P.O. Box 3021
Dar- es-Salaam, TANZANIA
Tel: +255 22 211 6798, +255 22 232 4904

Hon. Celina Ompeshi Kombani,
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs
PO Box 9050
Dar-es-Salaam, TANZANIA
Tel: +255 22 211 3234 or +255 22 212 3803
Fax: +255 22 211 3236
Email: dafrosa_mniko@yahoo.com; katibumkuu@sheria.go.tz

Commissioner Said Ally Mwema
Inspector General of Police
PO Box 9141
Dar-Es-Salaam, TANZANIA
Tel. Office: +255 22 211 3461
Personal mobile: +255 754 785 557
Fax: +255 22 213 6556
Email: smwema@yahoo.com, or s_mwema@yahoo.com, or s.mwema@yahoo.com

Hon. Sophia Mathayo Simba
Minister of Community Development, Gender and Children's Affairs
PO Box 3448
Dar-es-Salaam, TANZANIA
Tel: +255 22 213 2057 +255 22 211 5074; +255 22 211 5635
Fax: +255 22 213 3647
Email: info_wic@uccmail.co.tz

Hon. Shamsi Vuai Nahodha
Minister of Home Affairs
P.O. Box 2218
Dar-es-Salaam, TANZANIA
Tel: +255 22 211 7108, +255 22 213 36322, +255 22 211 2034; +255 22 211 7353
Fax: +255 22 212 2617, +255 22 213 9675
Email: comments@moha.go.tz; ps@moha.go.tz

Mr. Z. Munisi
Assistant Superintendent of Police
Police headquarters- Gender Department
Fax: + 255 22 213 1174
Dar-es-Salaam, TANZANIA

Letters: 

[Date]

Dear [President] [Prime Minister] [Minister] [Inspector General] [Assistant Superintendent of Police]:

I am writing to express my deep concern about reports that over 5,000 girls are at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM) during the forthcoming December holiday season in a number of villages of the Tarime District in the Mara Region. Tarime has a very high rate of FGM which is performed on cohorts of girls in ceremonies that take place at least every two years in almost the entire district.  There are reports suggesting that over 250 girls may have already been subjected to FGM in Tarime over the past several days and more girls will undergo the practice as it is planned that genital mutilation will be taking place every day from now until mid January 2011. 

Despite the fact that FGM is prohibited under the Sexual Offences Special Provision Act 1998, the government seems to have done nothing to prevent these girls from undergoing FGM including particularly in such publically known ceremonies.  The police in Tarime district have so far failed to arrest any perpetrators who have been subjecting girls to FGM, inspite of their obligation under Section 5 of the Police Force Ordinance Cap.322, to “detect and prevent crime and apprehend the perpetrators”.

In failing to take action to prevent girls from undergoing FGM, the Tanzanian government is failing its obligations under regional and international human rights instruments.  Article 5(d) of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, requires the government to protect women and girls at risk from being subjected to FGM.  Section 21 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child requires the government to eliminate harmful social and cultural practices and in particular those “prejudicial to the health or life of the child.”  Tanzania is also a party to other international instruments that prohibit the practice of harmful traditional practices including the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Please take immediate and urgent action to ensure that girls from Tarime are protected from FGM and the perpetrators who have carried out the practice are arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  Also ensure that the police take decisive action to enforce the law for the benefit of all girls and women in Tanzania at risk of FGM and that they take other preventative and protective measures as appropriate in accordance with Tanzania’s national and international obligations.

I thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely
 

Tanzania: Enforcement of the Law Against Female Genital Mutilation

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2006 Apr 1

Female genital mutilation (FGM) has been prohibited by law in Tanzania since 1998, but the law has not been effectively enforced.  In June 2001, Equality Now issued a Women’s Action urging the government of Tanzania to take more effective action to end the practice of FGM, through education and enforcement of the law.  The Women’s Action highlighted the case of three girls aged 13 and 14 who fled to a local church for protection against FGM.  Instead of assisting Pastor Zakayo of the church, who brought the girls to the police, the police arrest

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the authorities listed below.  Congratulate them on the efforts made to train police on the law against FGM and the measures already taken to ensure the police carry out the law.  Note that the timely intervention of the police in some cases has saved girls from the harmful practice of FGM.  Urge the government to continue its efforts to end the practice of FGM through education as well as enforcement of the law and to bring disciplinary action against police officers and court officials who fail to implement the law appropriately.  Letters should be addressed to:

Mr. Saidi Mwema
Inspector General of Police
PO Box 9492
Dar-es-Salaam, TANZANIA
Fax: +255-22-213-6556

Honorable Mary Nagu
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs
PO Box 9050
Dar-es-Salaam, TANZANIA
Fax: +255-22-211-3236

Please send copies of letters with a request for support to:

Honorable Sophia Simba
Minister of Community Development, Gender and Children's Affairs
PO Box 3448
Dar-es-Salaam, TANZANIA
Fax: +255-22-213-3647

Tanzania: Failing to Enforce the Law Against Female Genital Mutilation

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2001 Jun 1

Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female circumcision, is prohibited by law in Tanzania. The law is not effectively enforced, however, and the practice of FGM continues openly. In some parts of Tanzania, mass circumcisions are carried out in which thousands of girls are genitally cut at the same time, generally in December. In December 1996, according to reports, of the 5,000 girls who were cut in one such ceremony, twenty girls died from medical complications.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the following authorities and urge them take more effective action to end the practice of FGM in Tanzania - through education as well as enforcement of the law. Note the open defiance with which FGM continues and the general failure of affected populations to respect the law prohibiting FGM. Note the incident in which the police in Matombo apparently failed to offer effective protection to girls seeking refuge from the practice, and request the authorities to investigate and bring appropriate disciplinary action against the policemen involved in this incident. Urge them also to issue formal instructions to police nationwide to enforce the law against FGM and protect girls from its violation. Appeals should be addressed to:

Mr. Omar Mahita
Inspector General of Police
PO Box 9492
Dar-es-Salaam, TANZANIA
Fax: 255-22-211-1090

Honorable H. Bakari Mwatachu
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs
P O Box 9050
Dar-es-Salaam, TANZANIA
Fax: 255-22-211-3236

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