Odongo Odoyo

Topical Commentary

With Odongo Odoyo

Newsroom brain storming came into being and the argument centred on the peace agreement and the formation of the government of national unity. My colleagues were of the view that the process was taking far too long although with steady process and most of the agreements particularly, on the 35 percent of the women slots in the government had not been properly addressed with civil society and women organization pointing to these facts. One of our colleagues dismissed the notion of the 35 percent and asked us this question “Did you know that South Sudan is the only country with women holding big positions in the government across East Africa”. We had not thought of this fact and asked him to prove his case which he did as follows: – 1- Vice President: Woman. 2- Minister of defense: Woman. 3- Minister of foreign affairs: Woman

4- Minister of Health: Woman. 5- Minister of General Education: Woman. 6- Minister of Gender and social welfare: Woman.7- Minister of Parliamentary affairs: Woman

8- Minister of culture, museums and national heritage: Woman. 9- Minister of Agriculture and Food security: Woman

10- Minister of Environment and forestry: Woman

11- Minister of Federal affairs: Woman. 12- Deputy Minister of Agriculture and food security: Woman. 13- SPLM acting Secretary General: Woman. 14 Governor of Western Bhar Al Ghazal: Woman. 15- Deputy Governor of Warrap: Woman

16- Deputy Governor of Eastern Equatioria”. The discussion made some of us who did not know this fact almost change our minds. But as if reading our thoughts, our colleague told us that these are just the few facts known within the key appointments before seeing the composition in the middle appointed cadres and before looking into the private sector and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). From my point of thinking and that l presumed of others, we had to agree that the unity government might not have met the agreement fully on the women proposed percentage but had actually tried to accommodate a larger number of women in key positions. But somewhere, our thoughts were being challenged by the facts that the 35 percent was meant for national and states inclusions or appointments. The arguments being advanced by womenfolk of being shortchanged need to be looked at but they too must see that not all of them can be appointed in all and every position. The national unity government should be proved for their worth without dividing who has done what and where since they have common goal within of collective responsibilities. It has taken a long journey to reach and achieve what is on the table right now. A little more time could not prevent the intended and planned achievements. There are so many other needs to be tackle in the public service delivery domain. The most important thing right now is that unity of purpose for service delivery to the general public. Which must be undertaken by all citizens of good intention.

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