Women demand inclusion in peace building, reconciliation process
Participants attending public dialogue at Makerere University on Monday under the theme peace building and reconciliation process in South Sudan (Photo by Martin Manyiel Wugol):
By Martin Manyiel Wugol
A group of South Sudanese women comprised of six different organizations based in Kampala have demanded for inclusion in peace building and reconciliation processes in South Sudan.
They said political leaders and the Opposition Groups must give them chance to participate in search for lasting peace in the country.
Speaking to the audience during the event on Monday, Ms. Kiden Josephine Tongu urged women to wake up and stand tall because they had been sleeping.
“Now is the time to come together and break the cycle of silence and take the bull by the horns and joined men in search for peace in the country,” Ms. Tongu said.
However, Ms. Tongu challenged fellow women for not standing up for their rights saying you can take a cow to the river but you can’t force it to drink water.
“The South Sudanese women and girls have special place to participate in politics effectively but they should fight their way through instead of relying on favours from men,” Ms. Tongu said.
Ms. Grace Andrua, the Executive Director South Sudan Cultural and Development Agency (SSCDA) also called on the women to put aside gender biasness in order to achieve women inclusion in decision making.
“Women must be supported by men and all political leaders in the country without that there will be no peace and equal participation of women,” Ms. Andrua said, stressing that there was no time to be wasted.
The was the only day public dialogue was organized by Network of South Sudan Civil Society Organizations in Uganda (NoSSCOU) that brought together different civil society organizations, politicians including Opposition Groups who are in Kampala.
Speaking at the same event, Peace and Conflict Resolution Analyst Mr. Luke Thomson who is also staunch supporter of SPLM-IO under Dr Riek Machar challenged South Sudanese women to form their own formidable force to challenge men in search for peace in the country.
Mr. Thomson said SPLM-IO under Dr Riek Machar are operating their political activities on whatsapp and they included hundred percent of women participation which he urged women of South Sudan to establish their huge presence on social media and take issues facing them very seriously.
“You should encourage more creativity in your Coordination mechanism because South Sudanese men will never give women chance to realize their dreams in the country’s politics,” he said.
Goretti Bukombi Ugandan representative from Creators of Peace Organization said God created mankind in the first place and later on realizing that man was very lonely. He decided to create the woman to support man in all earthly aspects.
He explained that all women in South Sudan had special calls despite the delicate nature of politics in the country. “Women have rights and obligation to take effective role in peace effort in South Sudan because women are peace lovers and always willing to offer durable solution to the conflict of any sort,” Ms. Bukombi said.
Ambassador for peace Nyenagwek Kuol former Minister of Information of the defunct Warrap state, who was also the panelist, said that the time for special treatment attributed to women is over. “We need real women participation in nation building not in a ceremonial way but in a practical equal representation because South Sudanese women deserved more than thirty five percent,” she said.