Gov’t notes progress in ending early marriages

Gov’t notes progress in ending early marriages

The Ministry of Gender, Child, and Social Welfare has revealed progress in ending child marriages following its development of a strategic action plan to end child marriage.

The Director for Child Welfare, Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare Celinda Grace Peter said in a morning talk show with radio Miraya that such efforts include making girls aware of their rights to refuse such marriages.  Her interview coincided with the marking of the International Day of Girlchild yesterday. 

“As I speak, South Sudan developed the strategic action plan to end child marriage. There is progress although it is in a slow phase because many girls are now able to be aware that it is their right that they should not be forced into marriage,” she said.

The Program Implementation Manager at Plan International John Garang said it is the responsibility of stakeholders and government to support and girls to rise above their challenges.

However, most girls say the incidents short up during the COVID-19 pandemic because most schools and schoolgirls became idle and vulnerable.

“Most girls were not able to afford the internet even though Ministry of Health came up with radio and television most of the girls could not access it,” said a girl, identified as Diko Janet.

According to UN Women, South Sudanese girls and young women experience various forms of violence from a tender age. In addition to intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence, young women and girls are exposed to destructive practices such as child, early, and forced marriage.

Their exposure to GBV is worsened by inter-communal conflicts, natural disasters, and the pandemic. GBV accounts for one of the forms of insecurity that negatively impacts South Sudanese girls’ well-being and their place in society.

Globally, evidence indicates that GBV experienced by girls and women is significantly underreported.

According to World Bank, South Sudanese girls are less likely to complete primary and secondary education than boys. Girls and young women from the ages of 15 to 19 are more vulnerable to maternal.

Lack of education also prevents girls and women from participating fully in political and public life. South Sudan is implementing the Revitalised Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan’s 35 percent affirmative action for allocation of positions at all levels of government to women deaths than completing primary school.