My family forced me to undergo FGM so that I could be married off. I had to leave school. Then I was married off at age 10 to a Kurya man who was older than me. He was very violent, he used to beat me and treat me badly. I had to live with the violence for years fearing the consequence of leaving him.
Traditionally my father is expected to pay the bride price back to my husband if I left my husband. Once he beat me badly when I was pregnant, and was hospitalised and I lost my child. In my hospital bed, I decided not to go back to him again and when I was discharged from hospital I went back to my parents and refused to return. Now I am staying with my parents doing small business.
I am a member of Nyumbani group in Matongo and I have received different training such as girls’ rights, life skill and leadership. This enabled me to know my rights and build my confidence. Besides, I am a survivor of forced FGM and child marriage. So, I confidently speak against the practice to raise awareness in the community and enable parents, girls and communities in general to say NO to FGM and child marriage.
If FGM stops, it will give opportunity for girls to be girls and fulfil their academic dreams and their goals in life. I am now advocating against these practices along with my fellow network members.”
Margaret, 18, Tanzania Haki ya Binti beneficiary