Greater Kapoeta told to end early marriage

The communities in the greater Kapoeta, Eastern Equatoria State, should stop forced and early child marriage in the community, a senior education has said.

“I am talking to the communities of greater Kapoeta, you should stop marrying off schoolgirls,” said Esther Akumo, director general of Gender Equality and Inclusive Education at the National Ministry of General Education and Instruction.

Akumo made the call during an event marking the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in Kapoeta town on Thursday.

According to reports, early marriage is a major threat against girl child education in South Sudan, particularly in the Toposa community where the traditional practice is said to be worse.

A girl may be married off as young as nine years old for as low as two cows valued at $100 apiece to an old man.

Generally, reports show that the largest group of out-of-school children in South Sudan are girls. Poverty, child marriage and cultural and religious views all hinder girls’ education.

“I am just appealing to the parents and the community in general to stop marrying off the girls and start sending them to school,” she continued.

“Tomorrow, they will have bright future; and not only will they help their families and communities but also the country.”

Some of the greater Kapoeta community girls who went to school and became helpful in the area and South Sudan include the Josephine Napwon, national minister of Environment and Forestry.

Another greater Kapoeta girl child who went to school and became a leader is Hon Christine Naboi, who represents Budi County at the Eastern Equatoria State Legislative Assembly in Torit.