WOMEN JOURNALISTS DEMAND FOR EQUALITY AND COOPERATION
Gender equality is a vast topic which cannot be summed up in a minute or so. It needs concentrations and detailed approach. It is therefore, important to note though, the message from our women colleagues during a workshop which was addressed by the chairperson of the Association of Media Women in South Sudan (AMWISS) where equality and vulnerability topped the agenda. Mary Justo Tombe sent a clear word. There is need to cooperate with all media houses in the country to champion and articulate the role of women in the society. The issue of women participation in the national issues is not new, but somehow has not been taken up appropriately. The women are also advocating for children to be in the forefront of protection against the many ills bedeviling the country. Yes, there is need to cooperate and partner with media outlets, but is there a will to do so? In many instances, cultural norms and other societal issues have prevented our women to come out in the open and say it the way they see it. Sometime even husbands have ended up frustrating the cause of women in our midst. The only way out is to have a free society where women and men can equally air their views freely without being considered otherwise. Women themselves should start public education to their folk from the grass-root to the national level to show them how open society works and how their interest can be addressed without hindrance by cultural norms and other perceived thinking among our people. AMWISS as an institution of professional women journalists has a bigger role to play in this direction. It should not just shout out and do little. At no time have they approached media houses for cooperation or partnership that they were turned away or refused the arrangements. Our women must be heard and this is the time for them to come out and do what their opposite can do. No more excuses please the notion that women belong in the kitchen is a by-gone or yester-year facts.
With Odongo Odoyo
HOW TO BENEFIT FROM IMPACT INCENTIVES
The news came as a thunder-bolt. All print and electronic media outlets had a field day disseminating the information across the globe. The first batch of our teachers is going to get 40 US Dollars each as incentive for IMPACT. Minister of General Education, Deng Deng Hoc announced in broad daylight that other remaining lot will also be paid soon the arrangements are complete throughout the country. I am not good at mathematics but my inner instinct tells me each will carry home some extra 4,000 SSP by the current commercial and black market rates. Primary school teachers ‘monthly salaries are pegged on between 1,500 SSP and 3,500 SSP depending on the grade and time –frame of service. This was good news to our teaching fraternity coming at a time when the economic doldrums had hit all below the belt. Prices of basic commodities kept on rising on daily basis without checks and intention to normalize them even after the Government sounded concerned and subsidized the imported programed food stuff by the Government. There have not been any follow-ups and it is like the exercise went notch into deep sea. SaTP changed the topic and told us he was leaving Juba for somewhere to ensure he was in the second batch of teachers to be paid IMPACT. This guy has never taught even in a class of a fly and how was he going to make it in class of human being without basic knowledge. The man is a gambler and knows how to smell money. He was busy convincing someone called HR to give him three months un-paid leave. Reasons, remember, his grand-pa’s parcel was still an issue and he was trying to con this man out with it as reason. His intention as he confided to us was to go out there in a remote area and register in a school as a new teacher who had just been posted to take up the position of a primary school teacher. His main intention was to time or tap this manner from heaven. He intended to submit more names using his network to get more cash from this programme. He reasoned that in the rural area, there were not too many checks and balance and one can walk away with any scheme. He had designed the scheme to suit his occasion and was only waiting to execute it before many people became aware. After which he will melt in the thin air. His intention was to have more than 100 manes registered and he will have made his kill. This was going out of hand and we told him that this was a form of corruption the Government was trying to put an end to. We told him that his target of 4,000 USD was not worth undertaking this kind of plan of illegal action to deprive the country of the much needed revenue which is meant to help alleviate the economic shortfall of others. He was categorical and promised to talk to us when his plans are through. In such situation we wished the law caught up with him before executing the plan.