South Sudan

Jubek women leaders identify ways to achieve 35 percent political representation

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Women leaders of Jubek area are ramping up efforts to make their 35 per cent political representation stipulated in the September 2018 revitalized peace agreement materialize.

These efforts were announced at a forum organized by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, as a follow-up to a series of previous engagements between women and different stakeholders.

The women identified gender stereotypes, girls being denied education, gender-based and sexual violence, corporal punishment and early, frequently forced, marriages, as factors making the advancement of women a rather impervious process.

Such findings did not, however, discourage the gathered women to come up with thirteen resolutions they believe will help them discuss, share and implement inclusive policies in a speedy manner.

“We want to see that women are appointed to parliament, to lead ministries, assume judiciary capacities and enter different political and economic portfolios at the national, state and lower levels of governance,” affirmed Rose Lisok, local Minister of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, in a bid to summarize what had been agreed on. Ms. Lisok also stated her belief that proper inclusion of women will reduce undesired effects of tribalism.

A copy of the result of their collective and productive brainstorming was submitted to the Jubek government.

Francis Latio, Deputy Governor of Jubek, said that women should not sit on the fence but instead actively compete with men in the labour market, thus breaking down harmful gender stereotypes.

Gladys Jambi, an eternally smiling gender affairs officer serving with the UN peacekeeping mission, said that the signed agreement provides a roadmap for peace through reforms, political transformation, national reconciliation and gender-inclusive governance. She did, however, wag a warning finger.

“While the provisions are commendable,” Ms. Jambi said, “ensuring their full implementation is critical to inclusive governance and the nation building process.”

She added that the UN will continue to engage with various stakeholders and well-wishers to contribute to the realization of crucial empowerment of women for durable peace.