A campaign to end violence against women and girls as well as child marriage in South Sudan has kicked off in Malakal with a colourful cultural event at the protection of civilians site next to the United Nations base.
Girls, women and youth groups performed cultural dances and dramatic skits to raise awareness of the violence that girls and women suffer in the conflict-affected country. The event was designed as the local launch of an international campaign - the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence - with the theme in South Sudan of ending child marriage now.
The Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan’s Malakal Field Office spoke about the importance of educational opportunities for girls and women and said child marriage must end so that girls can reach their full potential.
“I want to see all girls across South Sudan pursuing their dreams,” she said. “Allow them to study, protect their dignity within the community and let them attain their goals in life.”
International Medical Corporation (IMC) representative, Christiana Gbondo, called for improved safety and security for girls and women in areas most affected by the ongoing violence. She also said it was vital for the code of silence around gender-based violence to be broken so that those affected can receive the medical assistance and counselling that they need.
“Let’s work together to end violence against women and girls in order for safety and security to thrive in our country, South Sudan,” she said.