South Sudan

Yei state women demand inclusive government

News and Press Release
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February 12, 2016 (YEI) - Women in the newly established Yei River state in South Sudan have called on the state government to include women leaders in the new government in implementation of the gender equality policy.

“We women are appealing for a post in the new set-up of the state government. There are cases of beating and torture of women, women are not given their rights and we believe as the government is coming closer to us, this gender based violence will be ruled out so that we feel women are recognized in this government,” said Hellen Abure, Chairperson for Morobo Women Association.

“We should not sit alone in the Government, and we need men and women to speak all together so that the young women can feel that women can also work,” she added.

She said she would be happy if the 25% of the women that is always being talked about is reflected at the higher level of the state positions.

She further lamented that women have been tortured in Yei through traditional beliefs and rules by their husbands, including denying them to eat nutritional foods if they do not give birth to male child.

“One in which am not really happy is that; women here are being denied to eat meat until they gave birth to a male son, denied access to education, laboured with domestic work and not allowed to make decisions even at the family level. We need all these to come to an end,” she remarked.

Meanwhile in Yei River county, now one of the controversial states, women have appealed for strong measures against people who abuse children’s rights in the society.

According to the Chairlady of the Yei Women Association, Nadia Roseline, people who are found abusing child rights should be sentenced to many years of imprisonment and heavily charged so that similar circumstances will not occur in the future.

Nadia citied that rape, killing and forceful labour among the children are recorded to be on increase in all parts of the county.

“Among other cases, we have received a case whereby a seven year old young girl in Pakula quarter council was brutally raped by a 47 year old man and the perpetrator has not been arrested till today,” she pointed out.

She called on the government and development partners to build juvenile centres to enable protection of street children.

“We have also identified that the number of street children in Yei is on increase. We have found out that many of these children are either forced by their parents to sell food and clothes in the major streets of the town without education,”she added.

On employment, Nadia appealed for women consideration into positions. “We need to see that this time we need to see that women are granted equal opportunities in the employment sector. We don’t want to see that women are demanded sex or bribery before employment.”

The women made the appeal during a joint penal discussion organized by Centre for Democracy and Development, a leading civil society organization operating in Yei River state.

The organization’s Program Executive Director, Arike Joseph Moses, called on the women to wake up and demand for their rights. He expressed on the organization’s commitment to advocate for women representation in all processes of governance of the state.

“We as an organization would wish to see that women work side by side with men starting from the family, church, local and state government so that we see a transformed society in which human rights, democracy and inclusive decisions are made towards collective national development,” Arike.

However, speaking in a recent occasion organized by the Yei women association, Yei River state governor, David Lokonga Moses, said his government will recognize the participation of women, youth and the disables in the socio-political and economic development of the state.

“My Fellow citizens, your Government will recognize the potentials of our women, youth and people with special needs, the Government will empower them to efficiently participate in public life. In my time of office, I would like to inform [and] tell you that I will not entertain corruption. I will promote peace, unity, transparency and accountability.”

Late last year, President Salva Kiir called on the 28 newly appointed state governors to include women participation in the governance of the country.

However, Yei River state governor, David Lokonga, is yet to announce the composition of the state executive, and parliamentary organs of government.