Parents To Blame for Women’s Illiteracy in South Sudan: Minister

As South Sudan is set to join the world in marking the global Women’s Day today, the National Minister of Gender Agnes Kwaje Lasuba has blamed parents for the low rate of girl-child education in South Sudan.

Parents To Blame for Women’s Illiteracy in South Sudan: Minister
The National Gender Minister Agnes Kwaje Lasuba said many of the parents still stick to the norms and traditions of not educating girls, and force their daughters to get married at an early age. [Waakhe Simon Wudu]

By Waakhe Simon Wudu

JUBA, 08 March 2014 [Gurtong] -Lasuba said many of the parents and guardians in the country still stick to the norms and traditions of not educating girls, and force their daughters to get married at an early age.

“Our big problem and challenge in South Sudan are the parents or guardians. Some of them force their girls to be married at earlier age,” said the Minister in a statement to the press yesterday ahead of the commemoration of the women’s day.

“Unless we change the attitude of parents and guardians towards girl’s education, women will not participate fully in the development of the nation,” she added.

Kwaje said this years’ National Women’s Day in South Sudan will be commemorated in Jonglei State under the theme: “Gender educate girls and women.”

Last year the day was marked in Western Bar El Ghazal state’s capital, Wau.

“We go from States to States because we want to share with our sisters in those states. We want to share our challenges, difficulties, achievements be they community, governmental or individual achievements,” she said.

The world’s theme this year is; “gender agenda gaining momentum,” the Minister said it fits into the South Sudan situation.

She said despite critical challenges marring women’s emancipation in South Sudan, there are reasons to smile as far as the gender agenda gaining momentum in the country is concern.

Her Ministry and partners have now developed numerous legal frameworks that now streamline women’s recognition of their rights in South Sudan.

“Our voices are being hard. We in the Ministry have moved forward. We have developed gender equality policy, justice for children, we have developed gender based violence framework and peace and security framework 2013-2025,” said the Minister.

However, despite the positive development, legally, South Sudan still needs to do more on some of her legal frameworks in a move to boost recognition of women’s rights in the country.

Some of the laws are still controversial. For example, the Transitional Constitution has no clear defined marriageable age though elsewhere article 17(14) of the constitution states that, a child is someone under the age of eighteen.

The un-clarity of the constitution in defining the marriageable age presents a compromise to the implementation of the South Sudan Child Act 2008.

Activists have actually called the government to clearly define the marriageable age during the review of the transitional constitution into the permanent one.
 

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