A court in Tanzania has upheld a ruling banning the marriage of girls under the age of 18.
The decision was met with praise from human rights activists and comes after a High Court in 2016 had ruled that laws allowing girls from the age of 15 to be married (with parental permission) were unconstitutional and discriminatory. The state had appealed then and the final verdict had been made yesterday.
An initial ruling had found the current law discriminatory, stating that a girl considered too young to vote shouldn’t be allowed to marry.
Wasichana Initiative, an NGO and advocate for the rights of young girls wrote on Twitter; “It is a great day for Tanzanian girls. It is a joyful day for all girls and all those who want what is best for them”
The court’s ruling is a reprieve to Tanzanian girls as according to government statistics, two out of five of them are married before they turn 18.