By Wek Atak Kacjang/ William Madouk Garang
A renowned activist Edmund Yakani has called on the parties to the agreement to observe a 35% women quota in a yet-to-be unified army command structure.
Yakani, the executive director of Community Empowerment, and Progress Organization (CEPO) advised the top army officials to be mindful of women’s representatives when relinquishing positions.
In a phone call interview with Juba Monitor, Yakani stressed that women in uniform have been ignored for a long thus he urged peace parties to include them in the upcoming reshuffling of the army command.
“We don’t have women in the top military system, they ignore majorities of women who were in the uniform during the time of the war. So, our appeal is that the parties should embrace a 35% women quota in a unified command structure,” Yakani said.
“We feel the presence of the women in the new restructured command in the country will be beneficial and will bring to attention an effective representation of women in the country,” he added.
On the same note, Mr. Yakani said that the recent reconstitution of the State Legislative Assemblies under the R-ARCSS has observed a positive implementation of the 35% for women during the appointment of the State Speakers and Deputy Speakers.
“Three states namely Jonglei, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, and the Lakes States have appointed both Speakers and Deputy Speakers of the state legislative assemblies as women. While Western Equatoria State appointed the Speaker as a woman and Eastern Equatoria State appointed Deputy Speaker as a woman. Community Empowerment for Progress Organization appreciates the political parties for this remarkable act and hope that this positive gain will be sustained by the political parties,”
He added that having a meaningful women’s participation in the process of the transitioning the country from violence to peace through the genuine implementation of the R-ARCSS. The scored effective implementation of the 35% for women during the appointment of the state’s legislative assemblies is a great demonstration of political will for ensuring meaningful women’s participation prevailed
He revealed that the role of women in the state’s leadership at various levels is essential for securing a balanced development of the state. Embracing meaningful women’s participation in public life is essential in the context of South Sudan where women are the protective position of the family and the society. The promotion of gender equality and mainstreaming in post-conflict situations is a key to sustainable peace and stability.
“CEPO is impressed that our advocacy and lobby with the support from UNWOMEN worked and registered positive results. Based on this, CEPO is facilitating a setup of the State Women Speakers Forum as a platform for strengthening joint women leadership influence at the state levels,”