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UNFPA urges government to combat gender- based violence to accelerate development

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has called on the transitional government to intensify the fight against gender- based violence (GBV) in order to accelerate development and socio-economic growth.

 “There is no any progress that can be made by the society where any gender is being held down by any forms of social norms put upon them, if we are going to be able to accelerate development, accelerate social economic growth it is important that we take concrete measures to address gender- based violence,” Ademola Olajide, the country representative for UNFPA told journalists in Juba.

He was speaking during the workshop on gender -based violence prevalence survey at Pyramid Hotel.

 “Gender- based violence is one of those things that are a significant drive on the capacity of any nation to make progress, because it hinders the capacity of individuals simply because of their gender to optimally contribute to national development,” Olajide said.

Aya Benjamin Warrille, the minister of gender child and social welfare said her ministry is struggling with issues of GBV.

She noted that the government is developing policies and programs that will address GBV.

Augustino Ting Mayai, the managing director for the Sudd Institute think tank which carried out the survey urged the government to provide resources to combat child marriages.

 He said that child marriages are driven by poverty.

“The  government should provide resources but also make sure that laws are implemented in order to  combat practices such as child marriages, but above that you need economic investment for economic empowerment for women and girls so that child marriage does not occur,” Mayai said.  

 “Forced marriage and child marriage range between 60 percent to something below 20 percent in a bunch of states, at the national level child marriage is 35 percent, and Lakes State has the highest rate of child marriage followed by Jonglei,” he disclosed.

Michael Tawanda, the Counselor for the Norwegian Embassy in South Sudan said the government must act on issues related to gender inequality.

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