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JUBA, South Sudan

Even as the civil war has ended in South Sudan, violence against women continues unabated – now fueled by economic hardship, driven by a decline in oil and non-oil revenues and COVID-19 shocks.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency on the eve of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Thursday, Ayak Garang, 30, a mother of seven, said that situation has worsened because men are frustrated due to lack of work and they start beating women without any reason.

“The economic crises have contributed a lot to violence against women in the country, now you can find the issues related to early marriage or forced marriage which affect young girls leading to school dropout is because the parents are marrying off their daughters to get resources,” she said.

According to UNICEF, the incidents of gender-based violence (GBV) are one of the most critical threats to women and children in South Sudan.

“The GBV was already rife before the conflict, and is now nearing epidemic proportions,” said the UNICEF South Sudan GBV Briefing note released in 2019.

Mary Deng, 36, has urged the government to frame laws to curb gender violence, which has attained serious proportions in the country.

“I am now staying alone due to the domestic violence. I decided to struggle on my own because staying in a violent place is so bad. After isolating myself, nobody seems to care about my whereabouts and that is the clear sign that the problem is not considered as a serious matter,” she told Anadolu Agency.

A 35-year-old rape victim also urged the government to bring strong laws to combat gender violence.

Joseph Loro, a senior official in the Gender, Child and Social Welfare Ministry, said illiteracy and lack of opportunities are some of the major causes leading to violence against women.

“In every situation, women are the ones on the frontline. If you go on the streets of Juba, they are the ones selling bananas and other small things,” said Loro, adding that if they are supported to improve their livelihoods, then household violence against women will also stop.

Earlier, in its initial report on South Sudan, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women also pleaded for drafting progressive legislation for women.

Aya Benjamin Warille, minister of gender, child, and social welfare, said South Sudan has taken measures to end sexual and gender-based violence by establishing a specialized court within the judiciary to try crimes against women and girls.

She said that South Sudan faced numerous challenges related to the conflict and continues to appeal to the international community for support in promoting and protecting the rights of women and girls.

A report by the Gender-Based Violence Information Management System (GBVIMS) reported 6,295 cases of GBV with 97% victims as women and girls in the first nine months of 2020.

Research found that nearly 65% of women and girls have experienced physical violence in their lifetime, and some 51% have suffered intimate partner violence in the country. As many as 33% of women have experienced sexual violence from a non-partner, primarily during attacks or raids.

Source http://www.bing.com/news/apiclick.aspx?ref=FexRss&aid=&tid=BF10E3F2A0854C40BE289A69C2A2F2CC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.aa.com.tr%2Fen%2Fafrica%2Feconomic-recession-spurs-gender-violence-in-south-sudan%2F2428941&c=16047677740905275337&mkt=en-ca

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