Tanzania's President John Magufuli Wants To Ban Contraceptives
From the president's comments on birth control, to the recent ban on fake nails and eyelashes in parliament, its seems the rights of Tanzanian women are under attack.
Tanzania's president John Magufuli Is urging women to "give up contraceptive methods" in order to boost population growth in the country.
The president made the comments in a speech on Sunday, where he insisted that Tanzanian women needed to give brith to more children and that they have the resources to do so.
"You have cattle. You are big farmers. You can feed your children. Why then resort to birth control? This is my opinion, I see no reason to control births in Tanzania," Magufuli said.
He also blamed the decline in birthrates amongst women in Western countries as the reason for their weakening labor pools.
"I have travelled to Europe and elsewhere and have seen the harmful effects of birth control. Some countries are now facing declining population growth. They are short of manpower."
"Women can now give up contraceptive methods," he added.
This is not the only challenge that Tanzanian women are facing on an institutional level either. It's been reported that female legislators in Tanzania will no longer be allowed to wear fake nails of eyelashes while in the chambers.
Speaker of the house, Job Ndugai made the announcement on Monday. "With the powers vested in me by the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, I now ban all MPs with false eyelashes and false finger nails from stepping into Parliament," Ndugai said. He also stated that woman can be penalized for wearing "excessive" makeup—whatever that means.
Magufuli has expressed backward views about women's reproductive rights on several occasions. In 2016 he claimed that women could stop using contraceptives since school care had become free. Last year, Magufuli stated his plans to prevent pregnant girls from returning to school—a move that was denounced by citizens and human rights campaigners alike.