As we celebrate girl child, boys need empowerment

By Mary Poni

The national Minister of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, Aya Benjamin Warille said as girl child is internationally being celebrated, there is yet need for the boys to be globally empowered.

She raised the concern yesterday during an event to mark the commemoration of the international day of the girl child in Juba. 

This year’s celebration was marked under the theme “The Future Belongs to the Girl Child- the Time is Now Uphold Our Rights.”

The minister however underlined that in most cases, they tend to concentrate on girl child forgetting the boy child.

“I want us including the stakeholders who are the perpetrators, or who are these people taking the young girls to the hotels? Who are these fathers in the families? Who are these decision makers who decide that girls should not get properties but only boy getting?  She questioned, stating that the men are the ones influencing all these.”

Aya urged the government including the partners to invest in boys so that tomorrow there will be less of the girls being exploited and there will be men who will be just to the girls and to the future women.

 “We call upon all the governments and the stakeholders to address the challenges that girls are facing and to promote girls and empower them to fulfill their human rights,” Aya cited.

“We are very much aware that adolescent girls have the rights to safe education and health life, not only during this time but also they have to mature to become women,” she underscored.

She stated that the challenges that face girls today in the country are huge.

“When they decide on properties, the girls will not suffer since it is a collective responsibility everyone should see them in the track to changing the negative narrative about girls and make sure the role is played responsively,” she noted.

Aya said her ministry remains committed to ensure that all the harmful practices against girls are eradicated.

“We shall continue to work hard to make sure that the rights of our girls are upheld because it’s clearly said that the future belongs to the girl child.”

Central Equatoria State minister of gender, child and social welfare, Bullen Amos Sworo said he wants to hear that the number of girls dropping out of school this year has reduced.

He said they are moving forward well as at least the top three or top ten in the various examinations for primary and secondary schools are girls.

“I have seen that for us to solve the challenging problems we face every day needs a collective responsibility,” said the country reprehensive for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in South Sudan Dr. Ademola Olajide

Dr. Olajide stated that the sustainable development goals No. 5 is centered at gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.

“Investment in the wellbeing of girls provides one of the highest rates of return because it’s the most efficient approach to attaining gender equality,” he noted.

“We are committed as partners working under the leadership of the ministry to get ways in South Sudan where the news would be about girls coming up with innovations and invention,” he added. 

The global day of the girl child was set by the United Nations and recognized by all nations including South Sudan to promote “our children, women and girls’ rights”.

The ministry of gender child and social welfare in collaboration with our partners and other line ministries organized the day in solidarity with girls globally.

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