Government is committed to educating the girl-child, says minister

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The government has said it is committed to educating the girl-child, and has urged men to stop the practice of marrying young girls. This was said as the world marked the third anniversary of the International Day of the Girl Child.

The government has said it is committed to educating the girl-child, and has urged men to stop the practice of marrying young girls. This was said as the world marked the third anniversary of the International Day of the Girl Child.

 

“As a government we are committed in educating the girl-child. Please men stop marrying children, let our girls get education first, let’s join hands in ending child marriage and other forms of violence against girls and instead encourage girl child education,” said Mr. Michael Lopuke Lotyam, the Under Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

The minister encouraged girls to remain in schools and asked those in school to encourage their friends and colleagues who are out of school to join school. He said the country needs educated mothers for it to develop.

To mark the day, hundreds of children gathered in Juba to celebrate with a series of events organized by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in collaboration with UNICEF and other partners.

The event’s theme, ‘Empowering Adolescent Girls for Peace and Sustainable Development’, encouraged participation of various stakeholders in promoting girls to enroll or complete school.

As the world was celebrating, UNICEF says children in South Sudan continue to suffer from various forms of violence including child marriage, sexual violence, psychological and physical violence.

Child marriage, the most common form of violence against girls in South Sudan, continues to affect thousands of girls, undermining their development prospects and participation in education and other developmental activities. The 2010 Sudan Household Health Survey (SHHS) indicates that about 40 per cent of girls are married off when they are still children.

UNICEF says in South Sudan, an adolescent girl is three times more likely to die during child birth than complete the primary school cycle. The vulnerability of girls to sexual violence has increased after the conflict began in December 2013.

Recently, the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms. Zainab Bangura asked journalists in the country to prioritize coverage of crimes of sexual violence in the ongoing conflict.

Ms. Bangura made the call during a meeting with members of the media fraternity in Juba. She said that impunity for sexual violence must end and not go unpunished.

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