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Female MPs accuse male leaders of marrying underage girls

Women in the national parliament have accused some senior male officials in the government of marrying underage girls.

The female lawmakers did not give names but believe that this is mainly practiced by governors, ministers, and county commissioners across the country.

“Any person given a new appointment or responsibility is rushing for a young girl; to marry a young girl,” said Dusman Joyce, an MP representing a constituency in Yei River.

According to the United Nations, approximately 17% of girls under the age of 15, and some as young as 12 years old, are forced into marriage with would-be husbands for a price on average of 20 to 40 cows.

It says the parents marry off the school-age girls due to poverty.

Hon. Dusman condemns the practice.

“It’s not that every time you get a new position, you get a young girl, a new position you get a young girl. We are calling for an end to [this].”

She was speaking on Eye Radio’s Speak Out show, a program that discuss human rights and curbing hate speech.

Many other leaders have voiced concerns over the child marriage, which they say worsens gender gaps in school enrollment, contributes to soaring maternal mortality rates.

Last week, the Governor of Gbudue warned men in the state against marrying underage girls, saying they risk being imprisoned.

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