Women leaders tells gov’t respect quota
Political women leaders at a group session at Mauna Hotel (Photo: Moses Gum)
By Moses Gum
Women leaders in political parties that are signatories to the Revitalized Peace Agreement have tasked the government to adhere to full implementing of the 35 percent share reserved for them.
A group of 42 women leaders from different political parties including the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLA-IO), the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), the Former Detainees (FDs), and other groups said they needed full inclusion into the upcoming Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU).
The women said these at a closing session of a two-day workshop on Affirmative Action Adherence by the signatory parties to the Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) in Juba on Wednesday.
The workshop organized by Global Empowerment for Poverty Alleviation (GEPA) with funding from Urgent Action was held under the theme “Women inclusion for better Revitalized Peace Implementation”.
The group said they were seeking ways of creating an visualized and inclusive transitional government.
They claimed that gender disparity in public sector remained a major concern in the country.
The Vice President Dr. James Wani Igga who closed the session commended step taken by women leaders to speak up their rights as they continue to advocate for the 35 percent share in all public offices.
Dr. Igga stressed that the government would take serious demands of the women, and that maximum support would be given to them.
“Many of the women leaders including civil society have been raising concerns on the issue of 35 percent Affirmative Action. Be reminded that women quota will be truly implemented. It might be more than that in the near future,” Dr. Igga said.
He stated that South Sudanese must embrace the Revitalized Peace Agreement with full spirit.
The Vice President acknowledged lack of political support within the parties, lack of collaboration, limited funding which he said were some of the challenges facing women in the country.
He encouraged women to form coalitions, build relationships with external and internal allies as well as invest in potential female cadres.
The Program Coordinator for GEPA, Paul Onek Isidoro appreciated women for their “unshakeable effort” in trying to solve challenges facing them.
He said it was high time women were educated on the Revitalized Peace Agreement to enable them understand more about the 35 percent Affirmative Action.
“Any woman who thought of running a home is nearer to solving a problems. So women must be supported to learn how to solve their problems,” Mr. Isidoro said.
He said as an organization, they were looking for the unity of all women countrywide.
Isidoro thanked the Vice President for having honored the session, adding that it was an example of encouraging women to participate in the political arena.
George Opiyo, the workshop facilitator said effective advocacy to address women’s issues was vital to realize their potential in the political sphere.
He said voicing out concerns of grassroots people had the greatest impact on local politicians and that broad-based communication would be more effective if it supports a central message.
“Personalized approaches to political leaders work best in which real people explain real concerns,” Mr. Opiyo said.
Global Empowerment for Poverty Alleviation (GEPA), a national based organization with funding from Urgent Action, Africa is targeting women leaders from different parties to engage in understanding the given 35 percent in the peace agreement.