By Yom Mayen Awan, Bor, South Sudan
April 18, 2017 (SSB) — When I talk of violation of girl rights, I am talking particularly of South Sudan. The human right of the girl-child is not either protected on paper nor in practice.
Early marriage has been one of the major issue in South Sudan, as young girls are being married off before they have grown physically, mentally and psychologically to handle the responsibilities of marriage. And sometime they are even married to men who are much older than them.
Secondly, according to South Sudanese tradition, for example, in term of education, girls are wrongly identified as inferior from boys. Girls are usually viewed by their parents as assets while boys are oft-time given the privileges of doing whatever they like.
It is so astonishing sometimes how our parents think about us young ladies; they should understand that whatever they will gain from boy child, they can also gain it from their girl child.
The biased gender inclination attitude that identifies girls as valuable commodities to be groomed and auctioned off to the highest bidder is totally unacceptable.
In addition, girl child rights has been undermined in our community through prejudiced culture. This is making their male counterpart feel more superior over them after the heavy payment of dowries.
This has subjugated their rights as proud mothers. Instead of their husbands to treat them with love, care and respect, they are abused, humiliated and mistreated daily while their children watch, traumatized.
Some are mistreated, blamed and mocked for the misfortune caused in husband’s family lineage. Yet they forgot that when they were proudly asking and scrambling for the girl’s hand in marriage, they would pay some painful deal; just like that one of exerting their cattle camp.
However, heavy payment of dowries has also led to delayed in marriages. Young men and ladies who are ready to be potential husbands, wives are now taking too long to find their suitors. Their male’s counterpart are at fear with the risk of exerting their father’s cattle camp as well as their bank accounts.
Men are truly fearing and it’s understandable. Marriage should not be a form of wealth creation by girl’s parents but should be joyful way of appreciating God for what he created and ordered as a sign of unity and companionship.
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