BY and large, q uite many people relate independence, as a concept, to political freedom.
There’s nothing wrong with that viewpoint, especially for people in countries that had been colonised, such as ours.
Indigenous adults of what was originally known as Tanganyika were justifiably overwhelmed when the curtain of colonialism was drawn come December 9, 1961.
However, independence as a concept is prone to misinterpretations when it is tak en at face value, and whose conseq uences are bad, and even disastrous.
Independence must be coupled with rationality in order to be meaningful and justifiable. Some headway has been made since attainment of Uhuru, in acknowledging that females are on an eq ual footing with males.
In academia, public service and political arena, some women have distinguished themselves as superb. In sourcing personnel, then, factors lik e CV s come into play.
Stereotypes remain though, whereby the independence factor is grossly distorted, young girls being at the most risk of being victimised.
This is done under cover of independence by the cultures and traditions of certain tribes for fathers to withdraw their daughters from schools and marrying them off in return for dowry.
This implies that daughters constitute properties and that, therefore, the fathers are property owners! That cover is also manipulated to justify cruel rituals lik e Female G enital Mutilation (FG M), which are perceived to represent girls coming of age, or graduating into womanhood!
Plus, Tanzania is grappling with schoolgirls dropping out of school due to pregnancies. Incredibly, it is a practice to which some parents consent, including fathers eyeing cash or livestock as dowry.
They perceive academic pursuit as a waste of time. In spite of some community members being irrational, some of whom hide under cover of cultural preservation, however, the government is resolute on ensuring that sanity prevails. Hence the spirited drive to curb those practices.
Here-in lies the recent directive by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa to regional and district commissioners to ensure that individuals responsible for disrupting schoolgirls’ academic careers via pregnancies are dealt with in compliance with the laws of the land.
He was speaking in Hai, against the back drop of the academic careers of over 200 schoolgirls in Kilimanjaro Region being disrupted due to the vice between January and September 2018.
The RCs and DCs should act on the directive seriously !