Women in Yambio discuss means to increase participation in conflict resolution
Phillip Mbugo/Filip Andersson
More than 50 women from greater Western Equatoria have attended an open peace day workshop in Yambio. Two women were selected to represent the region at a national conference aimed at coming up with recommendations on how to increase women’s participation in conflict resolution and peace negotiations.
The purpose of the workshop, organized by the UNMISS Gender Unit and Civil Affairs Division and local authorities, was to provide an overview of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which amongst other stipulations calls for greater participation of women in conflict resolution and peace negotiations and protect women against sexual and gender-based violence during conflicts.
Margret Joshua, an UNMISS gender officer in Yambio, explained that similar workshops are being organized around the country to discuss better strategies for increasing the role of women in mechanisms related to peace mediation and reconciliation. Another objective was to identify sustainable, non-violent conflict management and resolution initiatives.
An important part of the event was to select two women who will represent the region at an upcoming national conference in Juba. Recommendations coming out of the gathering in the capital will be forwarded to the UN Secretary-General for review.
The Minister of Education, Gender, Child and Social welfare Pia Philip encouraged women to go to school as to empower themselves to fight for their rights and to promote gender equality in South Sudan. Education is important for this to happen, the Minister said, adding that women need to be like “mosquitoes inside a mosquito net”, constantly talking about women empowerment and rights.
Margaret Peter is one of the women chosen to represent her part of the country at the conference in Juba. She believes that achieving peace in the country is vital.
“Women have suffered enough during the conflict. We need peace urgently to stop killings, rapes, displacement and looting to give women a chance to take care of their children”, she said.