“What are you doing to contribute to a South Sudan where girls fully enjoy their childhood free from risks of Child Marriage and Early Child Bearing by 2030?”
In June 2018, South Sudan launched a Strategic National Action Plan (SNAP) to end Child Marriage in South Sudan by 2030. The initiative was headed by the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and other development partners (CREW inclusive) committed to accelerate eradication of child marriage as part of the implementation of the Agenda 2030. SNAP aims to build a strong national level foundation for a programme to end child marriage by 2030 when the country will report on its progress on achievement of the SDGs including the Target 5.3 “Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilations”.
The Action Plan development was informed by regional and global level evidence on what works and what does not to end Child Marriage. It draws on lessons learned from the AU Campaign to End Child Marriage, the UNFPA and UNICEF-led Global Programme to End Child Marriage, and the work of Girls Not Brides’ (GNB) Africa Regional Coalition. The SNAP ultimately aims to guide all Child Marriage stakeholders to work in a coordinated manner and to design, implement and monitor effective interventions that progressively lead to the eradication of Child Marriage in South Sudan.
It’s based on this background that CREW with support from UNFPA-South Sudan designed the “Too Young to be Married” campaign. The media campaign is intended to target adolescent girls and boys with an aim of raising awareness on the issue of child marriage through multimedia. Over 70% of South Sudanese population are youths below the age of 30, this campaign is intended to engaged with youths both within and outside the country on social media platforms because this is a percentage of the population that can bring about change in their respective communities. The goal of the campaign being to contribute to ending Child Marriage in South Sudan.
In as much as the campaign is targeting adolescent girls and boys, the goal cannot be achieved without involvement of their gatekeepers. Parents, teachers, health providers and legal practitioners’ views will also be captured in short videos and shared to inform and empower both boys and girls and boys with correct information, skills and networks to enable them recognize child marriage and early pregnancy as a gross violation of their rights and take mitigating action is key in championing Child marriage in South Sudan.
The five (5) months campaign (August to December) entails:
- weekly one-hour talk-shows on Radio One-South Sudan every Wednesday from 5:00-6:00pm
- Themed weekly video posts for discussions on CREW social media pages (Facebook and twitter)
- Production of a song on ending Child Marriage and
- A conference on ending Child Marriage in South Sudan
In August the campaign focused on the overview and drivers of Child marriage in South Sudan. From the Radio talk-shows and engagement on social media pages; The mostly repeated and stressed out drivers include but not limited to South Sudan’s weak legal framework, rampant early unwanted teenage pregnancy, social-cultural norms and poverty. The campaign will break down the effects of Child Marriage into three (3) categories. The effects of child marriage on Education, the Health Consequences of early childbearing and the Legal Aspect for the five months of the campaign. Follow and be part of the Campaign on social media by using the hashtag #TooYoungToBeMarried and also tune into 87.9 Radio One-South Sudan every Wednesday from 5:00-6:00pm.
As South Sudanese we have a national commitment to end Child Marriage in South Sudan by 2030. The question we’ll be asking throughout the campaign is; What are you doing to contribute to a South Sudan where girls fully enjoy their childhood free from risks of Child Marriage and Early Child Bearing by 2030?