Odongo Odoyo

Topical Commentary

By: Charles Lotara (Guest)

Women have been very instrumental in restoring peace and stability in time of tense political atmosphere. Unlike other influential women who championed and continue to champion liberation from oppressive regimes across the world, the situation has been different in South Sudan – where politics is a game played by misogynists. Our women have been docile to say the least. Fortunately, that silence has been broken over the weekend when a score of women bowed down to prayer and went on fasting in protest against reluctance by politicians to fast-track the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement. This was one of the rare moments, and should be a defining one if politicians have citizens at heart. The report that Dr. Machar left Juba without resolving the issue pertaining to the number of States was disturbing and left the nationals on suspense, just like the post November 12th 2019. The protest by women at South Sudan Council of Churches against peace delay is a reflection of the colossal frustration most South Sudanese are going through. What these women did reminds me of Jane Adams, an iconic American author and feminist who used literature to contribute to World War 2. In her book titled ‘Peace and Bread in Time of War’, Adams controversially suggested that those who are against peace should be dragged from the floor to test their manhood. She would then get lambasted by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal for being hot-headed, and that led to her obliteration from the political circle for a while. The bottom line of the story is, when a woman gets concerned over the political affairs of the country it means something is going terribly wrong and there is a need to fix it. They speak from a motherly perspective; they are people who shoulder domestic responsibilities. Their wailing call for peace signifies the stage at which the country has gotten, when they no longer feel any certainty in the affairs of the country. It seems like nothing but a creation of futurological laboratory of an ever-suffering ordinary population by political elites. Golda Meir once said “I can honestly say that I was never affected by the question of the success of an undertaking. If I felt it was the right thing to do, I was for it regardless of the possible outcome.” Our women have spoken regardless of the possible outcome, but can the parties to the peace deal pay attention and heed the genuine and wailing call for peace by women? Remember the word of Margaret Thatcher, “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.

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