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The untold story of early marriages in South Sudan

The untold story of early marriages in South Sudan

Posted on 2022-01-17 15:42:59 / by Elizabeth Ndungu


This sobby paper discusses the issue of early marriages in South Sudan, with the Toposa of the State of Kapoeta as a case study, a community where early and forced marriages are engrained in the culture. 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. While South Sudan law opposes these practices, eradicating them is difficult due to their embedded nature in the society. The reasons for early and forced marriages are numerous, ranging from generations-old culture to dowry and the use of girls to accumulate wealth, particularly cows, to fear of early and unwanted pregnancies, where parents would rather the girl marry than bring shame to the family through pregnancies, to a lack of structured, laid-out systems for girls, where the majority of parents have no long-term plans for girls after marriage. The repercussions range from prostitution to an increase in HIV/AIDS. Recommendations include upholding the law; assisting the community in exposing themselves education, particularly now that the world is only a few years away from meeting the strategic sustainable development goals (SDGs) to end child marriage by 2030.

Categories: Policy papers

About the Author

Elizabeth Ndungu
Elizabeth Ndungu
Joined 2 years ago

1 Publications

I currently work as a gender specialist in a humanitarian context. I am passionate about girl child education, SHR, CEFM, women's empowerment, gender equity, and equality, among other issues. I have extensive experience, particularly in gender inclusivity, analysis and research.

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