As Sudan’s economy deteriorates, urban cities are becoming more like rural areas and child marriage is becoming more of a problem, even among educated residents, according to a report in All Africa.
Lawyers and human rights activists are calling for a change in Sudan’s laws which allow for girls as young as 10 to be married, the report says.
Sarah Mohamed was married at 13 because the nearest high school for girls was too far from her village. Lack of access to education makes parents less likely to keep daughters at home, the report says.
“Before, we observed more marriages of girls in agricultural communities … now it is increasing in cities because of the economic situation and the attempt by families to preserve their girls from the corruption of the city,” said Amel Al-Zein, a lawyer and activist against child marriage, in the All Africa report.
It’s all about the value placed on the girls, said Lakshmi Sundaram, global coordinator of Girls Not Brides, a partnership to end child marriage.
“We have to challenge converting a girl, even with her consent, into an economic commodity,” Sundaram told All Africa. “We have to address the fundamental aspect that a girl has intrinsic value as a human being, not just a value cost.”