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Gambia and Tanzania ban child marriage

July 8, 2016 6:04 pm

The Gambia and Tanzania have banned child marriage, with tough penalties for those who breach the rulings.

Gambia’s President Yayha Jammeh announced that anyone marrying a girl below 18 would be jailed for up to 20 years.

In Tanzania, the high court imposed a landmark ruling outlawing marriage under the age of 18 for boys and girls.

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Some 30% of underage girls are married in The Gambia, while in Tanzania the rate is 37%.

Before the Tanzania ruling, girls as young as 14 could marry with parental consent, while it was 18 for boys.

The BBC’s Tulanana Bohela in Dar es Salaam says this is a big win for child rights groups and activists, who will now have an easier time rescuing girls from child marriage.

The case was brought by lobby group Msichana Initiative.

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