Friday, October 11, 2013

The Struggle of Women's Education in South Sudan

Here in America, where education is compulsory and often resented by children, most people cannot imagine a world in which children begged their parents for the opportunity to go to or stay in school.  However, for many girls in South Sudan, this is the reality.  This is due to the culture and thinking of the people that are living there; many people still feel as though the place of a woman is at home taking care of the children and taking care of the household, so education is simply unnecessary.  Because of this type of thinking, many young girls are often forced out of school, often to be married off by their families to suitors who offer them money or gifts in return. 

I believe that this practice takes away the basic right of these young women to access to education.  In this day and age, I think that we as humans should be moving away from the idea of the male-dominated society, and embrace the reality that women should be able to make decisions and take care of themselves, not to be forced to depend on a man for support.  By depriving access to education to young women is taking away their ability to support themselves for the rest of their lives.

On another note, imagine a fifteen year old American girl.  The typical fifteen year old in America is probably just starting high school, and their main concerns are usually their friends and how much they hate school.  Now, think about this same girl being married off to a man who was the same age as her science teacher.  It doesn’t seem right, does it?  However, this is common practice in places such as South Sudan where child marriage is the norm. 

The struggles of women in countries like this makes me very thankful of the rights and privileges that I have as a woman, especially a Black woman, in America.   Thankfully, the country of South Sudan seems to be trying to reform and enforce their existing laws concerning child marriage and women’s education; but this is not the status quo in all similar countries.  But even with all this, the country has a lot of work to do in improving women’s rights and the overall status of women in society. 

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