Norwegian Ambassador to South Sudan, Laris Andersen speaks during the launch of 16 Days of Activism against GBV (photo by Sheila Ponnie):
By Kidega Livingstone
The Troika countries (Norway, United Kingdom and United States) have called for an end to violence against women and girls in South Sudan.
Speaking during the launch of 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence yesterday, Norwegian Ambassador to South Sudan, Ambassador Laris Andersen who also represented Torika countries said women in the country have experienced all forms of violence during the conflict that traumatized and affected them psychologically.
He said the government must put strong policies that would bring the violators of girls and women’s rights to justice.
“Violence against women and girls has many forms. It is widespread in the South Sudan conflict and it must stop,” said Ambassador Laris.
“Women are very strong in playing key roles in bringing peace in the society. They have responsibility to prolong life and they must be respected fully in the society,” the ambassador who represented the top donor community added.
However, the Minister of Information and Postal Services, Michael Makuei Lueth who is also the Government Spokesperson said the government was committed to prevent violence against women through sensitizing the community on Gender Based Violence.
“What is happening on the ground sometimes is different from what is written in the Laws. We must sensitize our people on Gender Based Violence. If we don’t get courage, this violence against women and girls will not stop,” Makuei said.
“Peace must start from home. Sometimes we people are spoiling our fellow people to violence. Don’t give up, talk to those violating. Government is committed to end violence against women and girls,” he added.
The Minister of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, Awut Deng Acuil said South Sudan ratified all forms of international treaties to respect human rights but gender based violence remains prevalent because women experience all forms of violence in Internally Displaced Peoples’ Camps, and in refugee camps during the conflict.
According to Awut, in 2017 alone, 2,297 case of Gender Based Violence were reported in South Sudan.
“In some areas in the country, efforts to end gender based violence were not available to the survivors because such is human rights violation,” the Minister of Gender said.
Women experience violence in many ways, ranging from physical abuse to sexual assault and from financial abuse to sexual harassment or trafficking. Whatever form it takes, violence against women can have serious long-term physical and emotional effects.
According to psychologists, children who were subjected to violence also tend to perform poorly in school and they tend to develop violent behaviors.