Young Girls at Risk in South Sudan
South Sudan has quickly become an incredibly dangerous place for young girls and women, who face rape and domestic violence on a daily basis. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, recently visited the region and learned about the extreme lack of rights for women, especially those in rural areas. Pillay also learned about the tyranny that is created by the dowry system and how it encourages families to marry off their girls as young as 14–despite the fact that the new country’s constitution sets the minimum marrying age at 18. Many are looking to President Salva Kiir to take a stand for women’s rights and help the young nation move in the right direction. President Kiir has a lot to overcome as just 37 percent of girls attend primary school in South Sudan. Read it all here.
Namibia Welcomes Free Education
Namibia’s Ministry of Education has taken a giant step towards improving the state of education in the country by deciding to provide free and compulsory education at the primary level. As a result of this change, the country’s national budget will be largely spent on education starting next year. Although many applaud this historic move, some are still concerned families will keep their children home because purchasing supplemental materials carries a heavy financial burden. Read more here.
More Girls Graduating from University in Uganda
At Uganda’s Makerere University the number of female graduates is reaching unprecedented levels. In fact, the number has increased from 779 graduates in 1996 to 6,495 in 2011. The gender gap has also shown progress, as 48 percent of the total graduates are female. During the 2012 graduation, girls also outnumbered the boys in courses such as law, medicine and surgery, and nursing. Read it all here.