Empower young women for development

By Viola Matela

The Eve Organization, one of the leading organizations building the capacity of women in South Sudan in partnership with the National Transformational Leadership Institute and Isis- Women’s International Cross-Cultural Exchange launched a Young Women Leadership Program for the inaugural cohort of 50 young women yesterday.

The session under the theme; Learn, Lead and Change was opened with warm remarks from the Norwegian Ambassador Laurence Anderson illustrating the role of women towards economic development and peace.

“Empowering women is obviously the best way to reduce conflict and to drive economic growth. Empowering them through education and ensuring they take positions of power and leadership is a key ingredient in improving livelihoods for all in our societies.”

He argued that in Norway which is one of the sponsors of this training, the top most three positions in the country such as Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Minister of Foreign Affairs are held by women and the contribution of women to development is bigger than revenue from oil and gas so likewise, South Sudan needs to invest more in her women.

According to Jemma Nunu Kumba, the patron of the incubator program, there’s no way a nation can develop without the contribution of women.

“The potential of women should be enhanced, developed so that every woman realises her potential and participate in the reconstruction of our nation,” the SPLM General Secretary commented.

In addition, she decried the lagging behind women in major skills related to Sciences like Engineering and Medicine. Much as the legal framework is there to support women involvement, they themselves must take the initiative to bring change.

“To go higher, we need women to reinforce in the Sciences and other areas dominated by men,” Mrs. Kumba said.

She also asserted that the issue of gender balance or women participation is not just about balancing power with men but it has become a development issue that you cannot develop while the majority of your people are not involved.

Bishop Dr. Isaiah Dau who set the scene with an inspirational talk about leadership emphasized values like self respect, hard work, compassion and faith.

The father, pastor and community leader called upon the young women to believe in themselves and use their God given power positively to bring change in society whenever they can.

Dau, who in the past only enrolled for standard one at the age of 18 also encouraged the young women that as leaders, they should not be let down by what people tell them but take it as an opportunity to do something great. Those who succeed in life are not those who have never failed; they are people who failed at some point but tried once again.

“Faith is not just receiving but also going out to try something you believe you can achieve. Aim high, begin small and grow bigger. If you never try, you will never know,” he echoed.

This inaugural training that started yesterday is scheduled to take 10 days with different training topics for each.



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