At the launch of the 16 days of activism to end violence against women, South Sudanese women activists are calling on the government to enact a law to prohibit early child marriage across the country.
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls.
The theme this year is Orange the World: #HearMeToo
According to the UN women, one in three women and girls experience violence in their lifetime.
It says violence against women and girls happens in every country and every society, at home, in schools, on the streets, at work, on the internet, and in refugee camps.
The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.
Last week, women groups filed a petition against child marriage, which they say some constitutional post holders are involved in the practice.
The women made an appeal to the government to take serious measures against such a harmful cultural practice.
They say girls should be given a chance to go to school.
Speaking to Eye Radio on the launch of the 16 days of activism to end violence against women, the program manager of Crown the Women, Likico Molly says she wants to see some policies changed in favor of women.
“I will really be so happy when I see that some of the policies can be changed to favor women, for example, they say a girl should be at a marriageable age. They need to put these laws in place so that they get these perpetrators.”
Molly says something must be done during the 16 days of activism to end violence against women.
“Let them do something about these laws where our girls will be safe, so at the end of this 16 days of activism, I would really be happy and see that these laws are put in place.”
For her part, the campaign coordinator of Crown the Women says women participation in decision making should be considered.
Rebecca said girls’ rights should be respected.
“We are actually proud of our culture, but it should not be a culture that harms the girl, it should not be a culture that violates the right of the girl to go to school, it should not be this culture that is really harmful.”
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the UN Women says the focus should change from questioning the credibility of victims to pursuing accountability of the perpetrators.
In her message to mark the launch of the campaign, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said the focus must change from questioning the credibility of the victim to pursuing the accountability of the perpetrator.
She says only a few cases of violence is reported to the police and not all reports lead to justice.
Phumzile appealed to the Police and judicial institutions must take reports seriously, and prioritize the safety of women.