Tanzanian police stopped the forced wedding of a 14-year-old girl last week. Her father had removed her from school to marry a 17-year-old boy who paid 11 cows as a dowry, according to the police, who were acting on a tip-off.
Regional Police Commander Dhahiri Kidavashari says, “This girl was illegally removed from school to get married against her will and the [bridegroom, his father, the girl’s father, and a teacher] have charges to answer.”
Gemma Akilimali is a women’s rights activist. She insists authorities must bring charges to deter others, and make sure the girl returns to school. Ms. Akilimali says, “We do not want this case to end up in thin air. The parents who gave and received the dowry must be punished.”
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Photo: Maasai girls study inside a classroom at Emusoi Centre in Arusha. Credit: REUTERS/David Conrad (TANZANIA)