A gender activist in Eastern Equatoria State is appealing to the government and well-wishers to establish boarding schools in Kapoeta and Budi amid an increasing cases of parents forcing their daughters out of school.
Dorong Grace, the Executive Director of Root of Generations said they have registered eight cases where parents forcefully take away their daughters from school and marry them off.
Grace said there were also two suicide cases registered in 2022 involving girls who were forcefully pulled out of school by their parents.
According to her, the girls being forced out of schools were already survivors of forced marriage – who had already fled their homes and sought refuge at her organization.
In an interview with Eye Radio on Thursday, Grace said well-established and equipped boarding schools in the area will restrict the parents from accessing the facilities.
“We need boarding school for example after being escaping from the forced marriage and brought to school, they should be in boarding schools and those boarding schools should be equipped in all aspects for example this mental kind of health need to in those schools,” Grace said.
“The protection of these girls in schools encompassed a lot of things which are lacking in that kind of environment.”
“In St. Bakhita like this year alone, from January to now we had 8 cases and out of 8, five where already taken we have three now left in school and last year we had two suicide cases after them being pulled out of school, these girls went and commit suicide.”
Dorong Grace further appealed to the state and county authorities to implement laws that punish parents who pull away their daughters from school.
“We need the government to implement the laws that anyone that forces the daughter to be married should face the law because there is a lot of issues to do with lack of implementation.”
The gender activist said the government is not willing to fully implement the South Sudan Child Act.
“The rules are there, like we have the child Act but you find that the authorities are not focusing in implementing that child Act so these perpetrators go unpunished.”
“We did a lot of trainings to do with the police, judges training them in Kapoeta but still this things are happening. So there is a lot of loopholes on the government side.”
A report suggests that more than 10 girls are forced into marriage, every week in South Sudan and over 50% of all girls in the country are married before the age of 18.
This reportedly leads to many of these girls dropping out of school.
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