Source: Daily News
The government yesterday came under spotlight when former Speaker of the National Assembly pushed the authority to fast track repeal of the Marriage Act-1971 and Inheritance Law in order to enhance justice and protection to women and girls in their rights.

"This law (Marriage Act) discriminates women and girls... but the government is still reluctant to repeal it," said former Speaker, Anna Makinda, as she officially launched the first Women Rights' Forum that was organised by the Legal Services Facility (LSF).

According to Makinda, repeal of the Marriage Act would be an important step towards protecting women and girls in their rights to inheritance, own land, and other valuable properties. She singled inheritance law as one of the most chronic problems which negatively affect many women in the country.

"During my tenure as MP and Speaker of the National Assembly, we managed to fast track amendments to Land Acts and that paved the way for an ordinary citizen in urban and rural areas, including women, to have access to land," she said, adding: "the same effort can be made to fast-track review or repeal of this Marriage Act.

" She hinted that if the act would be repealed, thousands of women and children would be rescued from unnecessary sufferings in domestic and other forms of violence which are rampant in the country.

She called upon the women activists, partner NGOs and other paralegal organisations to invite the government for constructive negotiations to ensure that the Marriage and Inheritance Acts are reviewed for the social well being of the people.

Ms Makinda urged them to start the push also from Secondary and Primary Schools with relevant programmes which foster understanding in the community, adding that women and girls have a right to be heard right from the grassroots.

She equally appealed to the government to start financing women organisations and platforms instead of them continue to rely on external development partners as their main core financiers in the country.

On his part, the Legal Service Facility (LSF) Chief Executive Officer, Mr Kees Groenendijk, disclosed that the organisation is the main basket financier and mechanism which provides financial and technical support to legal aid organisations operating in Tanzania.

He said that the facility will strive to increase women's access to justice and other disadvantaged people through a legal empowerment approach. "For that purpose it manages a basket fund created to channel support on equal opportunity basis to organisations, which are providing legal aid, and paralegal services in the Mainland and Zanzibar," he noted.

By Daily News Reporter

Go to top