Wave of criticism has come up in Tanzania following the statement of President John Magufuli that pregnant schoolgirls should not go to school.
Pan-African women’s organization has set up an online petition in an effort to force the president reverse his comments and apologize.
In 2002 a law was passed in the country that allows expulsion of pregnant schoolgirls from the educational institutions for offences against morality and wedlock ground.
In recent months the women’s rights groups have been urging the Magufuli government to amend the law favoring the pregnant teens to continue studies.
Magufuli said on Monday while addressing a rally in Chalinze town that young mothers may distract others in the school.
He added, “After calculating some few mathematics, she’d be asking the teacher… Let me go out and breastfeed my crying baby.”
The president further continued that the men who made schoolgirls pregnant should be put behind the bars for thirty years and his energy should be used into farming while serving the prison term.
A mother who was victim of becoming pregnant during her teen age, Jackie Leonard Lomboma, recalled her difficult time saying a smart boy promised to help her to afford her secondary school fees if she agreed to be with him.
Lomboma has a 15-year-old daughter Rose now. She never dated the boy like a girlfriend and she got pregnant in the first meeting with him.
The lady was kicked out of school and her grandfather too chased her out of home. She started working as a maid and when the family left the place they helped her to go to school.
Lomboma said the recent statement of Magufuli is disappointment.