The Center for Reproductive Rights and Chama cha Uzazi na Malezi Bora Tanzania (UMATI)
Early this year, five Tanzanian school girls—and their parents—were arrested after becoming pregnant. Tanzania’s president, John Magufuli, has said that no girl who becomes pregnant will be allowed to return to school.
Despite no current law that allows girls to be expelled from school—and forces them to take pregnancy tests at a whim—more than 8,000 Tanzanian girls are expelled from school every year and are banned from returning to public schools even after they have delivered. The practice is completely out of touch with public opinion and breaks Tanzanian laws and international human rights standards.
In a unique panel, the Center for Reproductive Rights and UMATI, a national Tanzanian organization providing sexual and reproductive health information, education and services, will discuss the impacts of the fundamental paradox: the Tanzanian government is limiting access to contraceptives and information on preventing pregnancy, while simultaneously punishing girls by denying them their education. In addition to exploring the real impact of the legal and policy landscape of reproductive rights in Tanzania, the segment will incorporate the live sharing of stories and experiences directly from Tanzanian adolescents. With the Center’s unique expertise on international reproductive rights law, in partnership with UMATI, who has the on-the-ground and direct experience with service delivery to adolescents, we will partner to create a unique, thoughtful discussion of the impact of these practices.
Evelyne Opondo, Senior Director of the Africa Program – Moderator
Evelyne Opondo is the Senior Director of the Africa Program at the Center for Reproductive Rights. She’s an expert on reproductive rights law and international human rights standards in Tanzania and across Africa. She has more than 15 years of experience in women’s rights law and advocacy, with specific interest in reproductive rights. She previously worked at Ipas and Federation of Women Lawyers Kenya.
Dr. Lugano Daimon, the Executive Director of UMATI
Dr. Lugano Daimon, the Executive Director of UMATI, has an MD from Muhimbili University in Tanzania. He runs the organization that has 33 services points which include 13 permanent clinics and 19 community-based distributors/community-based services throughout Tanzania, in an effort to bring access to needed services and valuable information to young people, the marginalized, vulnerable and underserved communities. He prides himself on creativity in service delivery and being the pioneers of providing family planning as well as sexual reproductive health services to the Tanzanian community.
Ivony Kamala, Manager for Technical and Medical Services at UMATI and a young, Tanzanian human rights advocate
Ivony Kamala is Manager for Technical and Medical Services at UMATI and a young, Tanzanian human rights advocate. At UMATI she works closely with adolescents on sexual and reproductive rights and health. She recently represented her country at the United Nations during a youth consultation forum in Kenya. At 25-years-old, she has a deep level of understanding of what adolescents in her country face in the current SRHR climate.