Marriage is becoming tough among youth

By Omuno Mogga Otto

More than three or four years ago, ceremonial activities related to engagement for marriage among the youth in the country was popular, good, easy and encouraging. It was good because the country was in the right political and economic track.  It was good because in those previous years, the inflation of the country did not reach to the level of today.

Today, the issue of marriage among the youth is unpopular. It has become subject of frustrated discussion in our societies. The continuation of the conflict is blocking many good employment opportunities among the youth.

With continuous delay in payment of wages on time, many youth in the country are living with frustration and some are even reluctant to look for work in the government sector, because the payment in the government sector does not meet the demand in the market due to high inflation and continuous devaluation of the local currency against the United States (US) dollars.

Many of the youth who had earned Diplomas and Degrees from universities and other higher institutions of learning are busy seeking for job. They are seeking for jobs so that they will marry and have a decent happy life. Many are searching for jobs with private sectors including the NGO’s and UN agencies because the ones in the government sector are not attractive due to less pay compared to the current market and delay in paying it on time.

In 2011, sending a letter for engagement to the relative(s) of the bride was less than 8000 South Sudanese Pounds (SSP). But now the amount of a letter to open the gate for the introduction with the family of the bride is three times higher than the figure mentioned above.

In 2011, the salary of a junior official in the government sector and some other beneficiary allowances from other trainings had enabled many young men in the country to engage. But today, the story is different. It is different because with exception of certain percentage put on top of the salary, up to the level of the junior military and other organize forces; the civil servants have been receiving what they were getting in 2011. The same amount of wages with a different price or high price of food and non-food commodities in the market. This is making many young men to fear to approach for a marriage in a respectful manner.

Socially, it has become very difficult for many young men in the country to marry because the current economic crisis has made marriage difficult for them. Marriage is part of life for all of us in this world. It has to be easy and the payment of the dowry has to be reasonable and fair. Some of the families of the bride would not allow their daughters to be engaged without a good amount of dowry put on the table, based on the current economic status.

There are families who care much about the happiness of their daughters but not the dowry. Generally, in Africa there are very few families who can give their daughters regardless of how much or less they would receive in terms of dowry. In South Sudan, it is very rare. It is very rare because in most of the cultures which we have, a huge amount of dowry is a must for the young men to give. If young men in our country are getting difficulties to marry, what other social mechanisms should be put to ensure that the number of marriage among the youth do not drop further?

Many young men have a high ambition to get a job, build a good house marry the girls their heart desires. But the current political crisis is blocking their ambition. The youth are strong tool for building a nation if the country is flourishing in peace and political stability. They can contribute in bringing peace if the system allows them to contribute in it with an open and sincere political manner. Let us invest in our youth.


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