By William Madouk Garang
Jonglei women group under umbrella known as Sisterhood Solidarity Call yesterday condemned the brutal and disgrace harassment exercised by police against women and girls in Borfor putting on mini-skirts or trousers.
Four days ago, a number of young women in Jonglei State, Bor town had affirmed to the media that they have been harassed, beaten and stripped naked by police for allegedly wearing short skirts or jeans.
However,the state police spokesperson,Major. Daniel Majak, confirmed the incident and said that women were just advised by security to go and change but not beaten.
“Short skirts which partially expose most parts of the body of the woman like she is dressed half naked, and she is moving on a public road. This does not show any good moral value,
When a woman is caught putting on the short skirt, she is advised by the security personnel to go and change. That was the decision taken in one of the security meetings.” Majak confirmed to the media.
In their press release seen by Juba Monitor and copied to Vice President for Gender and Youth Cluster, Rebecca Nyandeng among many other officials, the group called on authorities to immediately intervene and stop forceful stripping young women and girls.
“The Sisterhood Solidarity Callon behalf of the young women of Jonglei condemns, in the strongest terms possible, this heinous and barbaric assault on women in our state.
Nowhere in the world is a person’s choice of clothing criminalized. These actions are in direct violation of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan(amended), the international human rights laws and conventions, especially, the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW),”
“It is with great shock and dismay that we, the young women of Jonglei
State at Sisterhood Solidarity Call have learned of the brutal and barbarous humiliation exercises being carried out by the security personnel against women and girls living in Bor town. Women are being targeted, beaten, and stripped naked by the security apparatus in Bor is a direct violation of their constitutional rights,” read parts of the statement.
The group said that gross violation on the freedom of women were frequent in the state because of the illness attitude by people in power who always escape from punishment.the group further advised the government to do the following.
“To fix this, the Sisterhood Solidarity Call makes the following demands of our leaders in Jonglei:
We urge all relevant government institutions, both state and national, to ensure the rights of women are respected. This includes the right to dress as one deems appropriate without undue harassment.
We demand that all the perpetrators are identified and face justice.
We want to remind the Government of Jonglei state that, not only does punishment discourage transgressors from repeating crimes, it also serves as a deterrent to future offenders.
We call upon the government of Jonglei – specifically, all law enforcement agencies in Jonglei – to observe and respect the principles of International Human Rights Law and to apply these laws in this particular case.
Finally, we appeal to the state and national governments to educate traditional leaders on statutory laws to prevent further violations of said laws and conventions,” it concluded.