Women’s rights group, Equality Now, has filed a case against the Tanzanian government at the Africa Court on Human and People’s Rights over its ban on pregnant girls from attending school.
The organisation, in a statement, said that going to court was the last resort after years of lobbying the government to overturn the ban.
The Tanzanian government has not officially responded to the suit.
A law passed in 2002 allows for the expulsion of pregnant schoolgirls.
The law says the girls can be expelled and excluded from school for “offences against morality” and “wedlock”.
In 2017 Mr Magufuli, while speaking at a public rally, said that young mothers would be distracted if they were allowed back in school:
“After calculating some few mathematics, she’d be asking the teacher in the classroom: ‘Let me go out and breastfeed my crying baby.'”
The President also criticised rights organisations who have been pushing the government to reverse the law:
“These NGOs should go out and open schools for parents. But they should not force the government to take back the pupils.
“I’m giving out free education for students who have really decided to go and study, and now you want me to educate the parents?”
Women’s rights groups have been urging the government to change the law.
At least 8,000 Tanzanian girls drop out of school every year due to pregnancy, according to a Human Rights Watch report.
Equality Now said the ban was discriminatory and had trapped many girls in a cycle of poverty.