In Juba, a widow is seeking help to save her 14-year-old granddaughter from forced marriage, which is allegedly being planned by her elder son. The widow, who has not been named, has been appealing to local authorities and human rights organizations for assistance in preventing her granddaughter from being married off against her will.
According to the grandmother, her elder son has been pressuring her to marry off her granddaughter to a man much older than her. The grandmother has refused to comply, stating that it is against her granddaughter’s wishes and is illegal under South Sudanese law.
Forced marriage is a serious violation of human rights and is recognized as a form of gender-based violence. It often leads to a loss of education, poor health outcomes, and a lack of opportunities for women and girls. In South Sudan, forced marriage is illegal, and those found guilty can face up to 14 years in prison.
The case of the widow and her granddaughter highlights the challenges faced by many women and girls in South Sudan, where gender-based violence is prevalent, and there is limited access to justice and support services.
The widow’s plight has garnered attention from local and international human rights organizations, who have condemned the planned forced marriage and called for immediate action to protect the girl’s rights. The South Sudan Women’s Empowerment Network has urged the government to intervene and ensure the girl’s safety and well-being.
The South Sudanese government has taken steps to address gender-based violence and has enacted laws to protect women and girls from forced marriage, but enforcement of these laws remains a challenge. The government must work to strengthen the justice system and provide support services for survivors of gender-based violence.
The plight of the widow and her granddaughter is a reminder that gender-based violence remains a significant challenge in South Sudan. It is essential that authorities, civil society organizations, and individuals work together to end these human rights violations and ensure that women and girls are protected from all forms of violence.