The cultural problematic in narratives of violence against women and girls in South Sudan

Tamsin Bradley*, Gailda Jima, Anthony Ochan

*Corresponding author for this work

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Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) is endemic in South Sudan. Approaches to end VAWG are barely making a dent in prevalence figures. Global evidence tells us that ending VAWG in conflict-ridden contexts is challenging on many levels. Our research points to the need for social and gender norm change approaches to be better contextualised within the political economy and through applying a nuanced critique of the role of culture in normalising many forms of VAWG. In addition, greater involvement of young people is critical as a behavioural tipping point is beginning to emerge in this group. At national level, a lack of political commitment emerges as a key challenge in ending VAWG. Drawing on the findings from 20 qualitative interviews with national civil society organisation (CSO) and non-governmental organisation’s (NGO) stakeholders, the article argues that current approaches to ending VAWG in South Sudan (and arguably elsewhere) must be reframed along a continuum of change. Activities must be supported at all levels from national through to the grassroots and be founded in a complex picture of the values and beliefs that sustain VAWG.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Asian and African Studies
Early online date28 Jun 2022
Publication statusEarly online - 28 Jun 2022


  • culture
  • development
  • Gender
  • South Sudan
  • violence


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