Africa

Pregnant Student Ban Policy Harms Thousands in Tanzania – HRW

Tanzania’s ban on pregnant students and adolescent mothers attending school has denied tens of thousands of girls their right to education, Human Rights Watch has said. Public schools across mainland Tanzania conduct compulsory pregnancy testing LINK, expel pregnant girls before they complete their compulsory education. “The Tanzanian government should urgently end this inhumane policy and allow pregnant students and mothers back in school,” said Elin Martinez, senior children’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. Since June 2017, late President John Magufuli enforced the ban, and then his successor, President Samia Suluhu, who took office in March 2021, continued the official ban. In 2020, the Tanzanian government announced that it would allow students who were pregnant or who were mothers, to enrol in a parallel accelerated education programme, described as “alternative education pathways”. Human Rights Watch said the president should enact a decree to effectively end the expulsion of pregnant students and protect their right to study LINK in public schools.

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