#InternationalWomensDay: Women in South Sudan have little to celebrate

JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN- Some women in South Sudan have resorted to prostitution to feed their children.

Nancy is such a case, after the civil war broke out in 2013 her family fled their home to avoid the violence.

Her husband took her and their two children to a UN camp for safety. She has it seen him since then, and has presumed that he is dead. The mother of two is resourceful, she found offers of work as a cleaner and a waitress, but she said her male employers  would demand sex.

Nancy speaking under a pseudonym said,  “If you refuse to sleep with them, you’ll never get a job.”

“They’ll tell you to come tomorrow for work but then start calling you the night before asking to sleep in your house,”

She said in three years working under four bosses, they have threaten to fire the young mom unless she had sex with them. One of them even told her it was “company policy,” to do so.

Nancy decided to go into prostitution after she was exploited in the workplace, where she found she had more control, made more money to care for her children, who are now aged 4 and 7.

She added, “I’m embarrassed,” she said, her eyes looking down onto the floor. “But it’s my only way out.”

Violence against women in South Sudan is twice the world average, with 65 percent of females experiencing physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime, according to human rights group in the country and those monitoring the situation.

Renifa Madenga a former gender adviser to South Sudan’s Commission on Human Rights said, “Sexual exploitation is a manifestation and glaring symptom of deep-rooted gender inequalities.”

Photo Credit- iOL

Article did first appear in iOL.

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