South Sudan : Child Marriage accelerate Schools dropout among teenagers
By Ayuen Akuot Atem
South Sudanese Women leaders and activist has urged the government and the parents to given girl child a chance to education for the better country. Child marriage has accelerates high rate of schools dropout in the rural and urban part of South Sudan.
In the Feature and investigative interview carrying out by the Nile News agency targeting the victims of Child and forces Marriage in addition to women leaders and government officials.
Speaking to the Nile Mrs. Shara Ajith, Chairperson for South Sudanese Women association in Juba stressed that the high level of school girls drop out is causes by the early and force marriage.
“We are calling up on the government in South Sudan and a cross states to scale up efforts to combats the widespread child marriage among the teenager,” Ajith told The Nile.
According to government statistics, close to half (49 percent) of South Sudanese girls between 15 and 19 are married, with some marrying as young as age 12 years old. She acknowledged.
18 year old lady Mrs. Mary Ayen Chol, told the Nile, “The man went to my uncles and paid a dowry of 80 cows. I resisted the marriage. They threatened me. They said, ‘If you want your siblings to be taken care of, you will marry this man.’ I said he is too old for me.
They said, ‘You will marry this old man whether you like it or not because he has given us something to eat.’ They beat me so badly. They also beat my mother because she was against the marriage.”
Mrs. Elisabeth Aguet Deng M, A Women who was married in 2004 at the age of 16 year in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya stated that she was in school in primary six and wanted to finish her education, but her uncle’s beat her and her mother to force her marriage a 73-year -old man.
On her part the Director for Gender in the Ministry of Gender Child and Social development in the government of Jonglei sate Mrs. Anna Adut Bol, blamed the government for its failure to enact the laws that will prevent Child marriage or forces marriages in South Sudan especially among the nomads communities.
“We are committed to end Child marriage or child marriage in the war torn South Sudan, but the insecurity at the country side have increase child marriage because people are staying in IDPs camps without school. Some time the child marriage happen in the deep villages without government accessibility,” she added.
On her part Atoc Rual Majok, the victim of forces marriage stress that “My father refused me to go to school. He said it is a waste of money to educate a girl. He said marriage will bring me respect in the community. Now I have grown up and I know that this is not true. I cannot get work to support my children and I see girls who have some education can get jobs.”
However, Rezaul Karim, the country representative for BRAC- Bangladesh Organization working for the Promotion of Girls Child education in South Sudan admitted that Child marriage disrupts or ends a girl’s education, increases her risk of violence and abuse, and jeopardizes her health.
Failure to combat child marriage is also likely to have serious implications for the future development of South Sudan, said Karim.
It constrains the education, health, security, and economic progress of women and girls, their families, and their communities.
“Child marriage frequently interrupts girls’ education – or deprives them of it altogether,” he added.