Girls learn rights in Rumbek

16 Aug 2013

Girls learn rights in Rumbek

16 August 2013 – Seeking to highlight the rights of girls, especially to education, UN Police and partners are holding a series of awareness raising events in Rumbek, Lakes State.

The events are focusing on early marriage, child rights, girls' school enrolment and crime prevention, according to UN Police Facilitator Saika Kamara.

Working with the Ministry of Education, UNICEF and the non-governmental organization Save the Children, UN Police are targeting four Rumbek secondary schools.

In the first workshop on 14 August at Loreto Secondary School, girls said many parents forced their daughters to marry early for the bridal dowry, and urged communities to alter their traditional mindsets.

"The child should be allowed to be in school and ... needs to be fed very well and (provided with) health care," said one of the girls. "Our people believe that if the girl gets married early she can produce more children and that is not really the fact."

Quoting the wise man's saying "the success of tomorrow begins today", other girls said they must attend school so that they could contribute to a better future for their country.

State Director of General Education David Deng Agok agreed that most girls endured early marriage, calling on both government and parents to allow them a chance to be educated.

"If we go through all the schools and get enrolments of girls compared to ... boys, enrolment of girls is very low ... because it has been affected by early marriage," the education director said.

Other schools to be included in the programme, which will wind up on 4 September, are Rumbek National, Riak-Dor and Rumbek Town secondary schools.