Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Morality of Tanzanian Schoolgirls

Just caught a Saturday radio program targeting women. La Dee did mention something interesting: Saturday morning is a strange time to broadcast with women in mind seeing as 99% of us are busy taking care of the chores that couldn't fit in the week, double-and triple-burden lives that we live.

Anyways, today's issue was schoolgirls pregnancies which isn't a topic I can walk past without taking a glance. It was not as encouraging a debate as I had hoped. Aside from the first guest, an NGO activist agitating on behalf of women's education, the discussion revolved around the thorny issue of 'morality.' Not social mores mind you, just the 'morality' or lack thereof of schoolgirls who get pregnant.

I was forced to conclude that Tanzania must be the only country in the world where young women of school-going age manage to self-impregnate, saucy little hermaphrodites that they are. Our solution: kick them out of school. Because pregnant teen mothers with a truncated education is what we need in order to combat poverty.

During the program, they ran the Tanzania Media Women's Association (TAMWA) radio ad encouraging women to stand for office and encouraging us to vote for them because They Can. Not to be cynical or anything, but 40+ years of women in politics in Tanzania and we still have shockingly medieval laws on the right to choose, child custody, inheritance, divorce, asset ownership, freedom from sexual violence, sexual harassment, glass ceilings, age of consent... I've run out of breath. And this is with one third of our parliament made up of affirmative action special seats MPs whose only- ONLY- job is to represent the concerns of their gender.

Hm. One strategy might be to vote in opposition candidates in every constituency that puts up a woman and kill three birds with one stone: kick Umoja wa Wanawake Tanzania in their gonads by reducing their elected presence, increasing the number of women voted into office and increasing the opposition's share of government. In the hopes that any woman smart and strong enough to make it into elected office will have the big brass ones she'll need to slay our patriarchal demons.

Maybe then those slutty schoolgirls who regularly experience the miracle of immaculate conception might have a fighting chance.


  1. that plate looks good! save some for me!

    and how about really urgent mail or RUM for the currently unfortunately named company!

  2. oops, those comments were for In the Deep Midwinter...

  3. S/He who wants a steak better offer a name in return ;)

  4. How so very sad! We are meant to be way past this point by now, blaming school girls for getting pregnant.

  5. I agree, but you know how it is. We've got a bit of work to do in that department.


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