The Governor of Lakes State Gen. Rin Tueny Mabor has been hailed by various national leaders for banning child marriages in the state.
The Vice President for Youth and Gender Cluster, Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior is among the host of top leaders to come out in praise of the decision that will ensure more girls stay in school.
“I write to appreciate you and your legislative assembly as the government of Lakes State, for the hard-earned success in passing a law to end early girl -child and forceful marriage,” Nyandeng said in a letter addressed to Governor Mabor dated September 21st.
The state parliament in July enacted a law prohibiting early child and forced marriage.
Nyandeng encouraged the rest of the state governors to end early child marriage which she said are harmful cultural practices that destroy the future of young girls.
“Worldwide, early child marriages rob girls of their child-hood and threaten their lives and health,” she said.
Nearly half of all girls in South Sudan marry before the age of 18. A 2013 report from Human Rights Watch highlights that dowry often leads families to force their girls to marry as early as possible, often after first menstruation. In South Sudan, dowry is paid by the groom and his family and can include cattle, money and other gifts.