By Jenifer James Ogawi
The ministry of gender child and Social welfare in partnership with the united nation Population fund (UNFPA) commemorates the international girl child day in Juba. The celebration connects people from different parts of the country through Zoom meeting due to covid -19 situations in the country. On her remark, Aya Benjamin the minster of gender child and social welfare said, government has enact laws that will protect child rights from marriage in the country. South Sudan has the highest number of the teens pregnant; these practices denied women in decision making. “Perpetrators to child marriage should face the law when caught “she said.
Meanwhile Regina ossa Lullo, the director of the ministry of gender child and social welfare said, the international girl child day was first celebrated on 11th of October 2011 want the UN general assembly passed the resolution which recognized girls and the unique challenges that they are facing wherever they are. “International organization should advocates for girl child rights and address the challenges that they are facing to end the early marriage and teens pregnancy in the South Sudan” Regina stated. The director said, in South Sudan 40% of girls end up getting marriage before completing primary schools and drop out of schools due to pregnancy.
“We should stop early marriage and teen pregnancy of girls in the nation “she concluded.
Meanwhile Gillian Butts the deputy representative of the UNFPA said, the issues of the early marriage and teen pregnancy is at the heart of many problems related to development and progress, it touches the core of UNFPA mandate that is ensuring every person potentials is fulfilled.
She further calls for an end to child marriage and ensuring that girls have information and support the need to make a safe healthy transition to adulthood.
“ investing in the girl child is not only a matter of rights and choice but a matter of SMART economics let us ACT right and let us act now” she added.
However peace Keji the representative of the participants stated poverty as one of the challenges that force them to get marriage. She calls on the government to reduce the school fees, and internationals organization should support the girls with some of their needs to reduce the burden of child marriage.
The celebration was under the theme “my voice our equal future”.