Tanzanian president wants to put an end to sexual initiation rites for young girls

In Tanzania, the President of the Republic Samia Suluhu Hassan says she is « dumbfounded » by traditional practices in the sexual education of young girls that lead to early pregnancy.

Visiting the coastal town of Mtwara – just across the Mozambique Channel from Grande Comore – President Samia Suluhu Hassan demanded an end to a tradition known as « Unyago ».

« Unyago » culture involves a sexual initiation rite for young girls. At the end of the harvest in the tribes of this region, parents « offer » young girls who have just reached puberty to adults. In Mtwara, hotels become brothels where teenage girls learn how to satisfy men.

The Tanzanian president demanded an immediate end to these practices, which destroy the lives of young girls, leading to early pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

The head of state says that she does not want to wipe out the customs of initiation into adulthood, but to avoid abuses.

Alex Khatib

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