The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) together with the South Sudanese government launched the state of the World Population report 2016 on Monday (October 31) in the South Sudanese capital Juba, with a special focus on the education of girls.
This year’s report theme “10: How our future depends on a girl at this decisive age”, was launched in the presence of government and UN officials, as well as 30 ten-year-old South Sudanese girls.
Growing conflict in the country has disrupted education for many children in recent years.
According to UNICEF, only 35 percent of girls in South Sudan attend school, and female teachers make up only 15 percent of the country’s 40,000 instructors.
Speaking at the event, United Nations Population Fund Country Representative, Esperance Fundira, said for millions of girls the arrival of puberty marks the beginning of a lifetime of poverty, powerlessness and missed opportunities.
Data indicates that the burden of household work on girls and early marriage has contributed towards unequal participation of girls in education and gender disparity.
“When a girl enjoys her rights, is able to able to stay in school, stay healthy and be protected from child marriage and early pregnancy, her full potential may be realized by the time she reaches adulthood. She will be better equipped to find a job, earn a good wage and seize opportunities as they arise. the state of world population report shows that girls who reach adulthood with an education and their health and rights intact stand to triple their lifetime income. higher incomes and greater productivity can help fuel progress for entire countries,” Fundira said.
Hundreds of civilians displaced by recent fighting continue to struggle to find proper shelter in United Nations compounds after fighting in July uprooted about 36,000 people.