The tentacles of patriarchy and the general unfairness towards women in South Sudan and Africa at large often result in undesirable extremes. A 20-year-old from South Sudan was killed simply because she refused to marry the man her family had chosen for her.
Marriage is something a person should decide on their own without undue influence.
"Forcing someone to marry against their will is a clear violation of South Sudan's own constitution as well as its international human rights obligations," said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International's Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and Great Lakes Region.
"The marriage and killing are not only illegal, but also inhumane. We call on the government to immediately hold the responsible individuals to account.
"The patriarchal practice of forcing young girls and women to marry is a cruel manifestation of the large inequality between men and women in South Sudan. Rather than being resourceful and inspirational leaders and members of society, women and girls are treated as communal commodities."
Such sad and tragic loss of live should not be tolerated all in the name of toxic cultural practices that end up having no respect for the sanctity of life.
In South Sudan, it is common for many families to forcibly marry off their own daughters in exchange for dowry. According to a 2017 UNICEF study, 52% of South Sudanese girls are married by the time they are 18.
Child marriages are a scourge that have taunted the continent and there are calls for the South Sudanese government to act swiftly in attempts to curb and ultimately end this problem.
By all means, the rights of girls and women should be protected.
Header image credit - National University