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David Dau Acuoth, Executive Director, office of the Vice President for Youth and Gender Cluster

South Sudan vows to eliminate cultural practices hindering girls’ education

The Vice President for Gender and Youth Cluster Rebecca Nyandeng has promised to ensure girls earn education in order to eliminate discriminatory cultural practices that hinder their progress in the country.

 David Dau Acuoth, the Executive Director in the office the Vice President for Gender and Youth Cluster, said on Tuesday in Juba during celebration of International Day of the Girl Child that some existing cultural practices in South Sudan continue to hinder empowerment of girls and women.

Acuoth revealed that young girls must be given equal opportunity to participate in various sectors of the economy including governance.

 “The office of the Vice President is working with International partners such as Plan International South Sudan, UN Women and others to not only do mentorship and fellowship program for young girls but to also create opportunities where these young girls can get scholarship,” he said.

Lona Juma George, a 15-year-old senior three student from Queensland Boys and Girls Secondary School said that education will enable girls to get into leadership. 

“When we talk about issues of equality in the context of South Sudan, girls are not given equal rights, most of the girls are not sent to schools because of the cultural norms,” George said.

“Most of the people favor their cultural norms so much that they hinder girls from going to school and that is something that will not help girls to go into leadership, it is only through education that we can help girls come into leadership,” she added.

She urged authorities to devise strategies of ending early and forced marriage so that young girls go to school and learn to become leaders.

Rukaya Mohamed, the Acting Country Representative for UN Women, said that they are working closely with government to promote positive cultural norms.

“We have to work together in terms of changing the mindset, we need to change really to promote positive social norms so that we value girls, we have to invest in girls’ education making sure that we give them equal opportunity as boys,” Mohamed said.

The International Day of the Girl Child is annually commemorated on October 11.

Plan International South Sudan and UN Women organized this year’s celebration under the theme “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being”.

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