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عربي

Eligible for marriage at the onset of menstruation

Ating Benson
Early and often forced marriage is a common practice in South Sudan. Though it is criminalised through the country’s interim constitution of 2011, the enforcement of the law is still lacking behind.
21.05.2012  |  Bor
Many girls below the age of 18 are forced by their own families to get married (14.09.2011).
Many girls below the age of 18 are forced by their own families to get married (14.09.2011).

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School now, marriage later: an uphill battle for South Sudanese girls
Homework for a new nation [part 3]: Stop the gender war on women and promote their rights insteadIn local Dinka culture, girls are considered eligible for marriage at the onset of menstruation, so childbearing begins early, obliterating most chances of completing primary school.

But customs involving early marriage are by no means limited to Jonglei State. The practice is widespread throughout South Sudan.

Children below the age of 18 have the legal right to protection from early marriage, sexual abuse and rape. Yet, across South Sudan girls as young as 12-years-old are still forced into marriage -- with dire consequences -- as Ating Benson reports from Bor, Jonglei State: