Friday, March 09, 2012


Government set to amend marriage,
inheritance laws

Community Development, Gender and Children minister Sophia Simba.

Community Development, Gender and Children minister Sophia Simba has said the government is finalising amendments to the Marriage and Inheritance Acts to be tabled in the forthcoming parliamentary session.

The minister made the remarks recently when addressing journalists at Marangu before scaling Mt Kilimanjaro in a campaign against gender violence in Africa, in which a total of 75 activists from 36 African countries took part.

She said the Act had shortcomings in enforcing women's rights, hence the government was working with various stakeholders, including civil societies, to come up with amendments to the legislation.

She said that one shortcoming of the Inheritance Act was the fact that when the head of family died, children and widows suffered a lot in securing their right to the property left behind, while court proceedings took very long to settle matters.

“In these Acts, there are sections that do not help women and children. We've already taken note of that and that is why we're working on the amendments. We urge social welfare officers to sensitize the people on the importance of writing wills, irrespective of their age," she said.

She said the government was aware of the increasing number of children living under difficult conditions, particularly street children, pointing out that families had the prime responsibility of caring for their children.

The minister said there was great erosion of social values, leading to the children's suffering.

Simba said the government had been working with NGOs to come up with strategies to link up street children with their families.

For her part, UN director of the Women Department in Southern African Countries Nomcebo Manzini said women activists scaling Africa's highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, would be making their voices heard more loudly on the question of fighting gender-based violence.

Source: The Guardian (Tanzania)

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