6 March 2016 - Over 70 women living at the UNMISS protection of civilians (PoC) site in Bentiu attended an open peace forum yesterday.
The meeting, which was organized by the Mission’s Gender Unit, focused on the important role of women in preventing and resolving conflicts, peace negotiations and peace-building
Rebecca Nyakuma, a representative of the internally displaced women at the PoC site, called on political Leaders in South Sudan to involve women in peacebuilding and decision making.
“We, the women, demand that any job that is being done by men in South Sudan should be also given to women,” she said. “We need women to be included in constitution-making so that they can contribute good ideas about peace.”
Ms. Nyakuma added that women across the country want the political Leaders to end the war and alleviate the suffering of South Sudanese women in various camps (and protection of civilians sites).
“We are talking about peace with big voice because we need the Peace Agreement to be implemented,” she said. “Women are suffering in the Bentiu (PoC site) and in Malakal, Bor and Juba.”
The UNMISS Head of Field Office, Hiroko Hirahara, explained the importance of the peace forum.
“I thinks it is very important because the people in Bentiu especially the women (have been) affected by the conflict,” she said. “I think they are the best people to speak about conflict and how their lives are being affected and once anything comes out of this kind of meeting, it useful for them … and to any other woman that may face a similar problem.”
Ms. Hiroko advised the women to organize their own meetings regularly so that they can discuss issues related to their rights.
“I really want them to organize such meetings and discussions regularly so that they will be able to expand their knowledge with whatever they learned,” she said.
She noted that it was also vital to include others in the community who could not attend the workshop.