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WOMEN reject governors’ appointments

By Bullen Bala Alexander

South Sudan Women Coalition for peace opposed President Salva Kiir Mayardit appointment of governors and demanded the inclusion women as an implementation of 35 percent provided in the peace agreement.

According to article 1.4.4, Chapter one of the Revitalized Peace Agreement, parties are obliged to ensure 35 percent of women at all level of the governance.

However in the recent decree, only one female governor has been appointed under the ticket of SPLM-IO.

On Monday, President Salva Kiir issued a Republican decree appointing eight governors, three Chief administrators while the governors of Jonglei and Upper Nile remain undecided.

Speaking during the press Conference on Thursday, the chairperson of Women’s Bloc of South Sudan, Amer Manyok Deng said the government was supposed to respect the women’s right in the agreement.

She said it was not logical for SPLM party to violate what they signed in the agreement.

“The SPLM party is the one that launched the participation of women as well as Women’s Affirmative action 35 percent in 2016, so we are wondering why SPLM would violate it again. So all parties are in question why are they violating the rights of women which has been agreed upon,” Amer explained. 

She added that “We are demanding what is agreed as opposed to what was not agreed upon.”

“We the women of South Sudan, the Women leaders are demanding H.E the President of the Republic of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit to revise the appointment of all the governors and at least put the consideration of women space into action,” she said.

According to the Chairperson, they could have not been left out since some of the women were recommended for the Governorship positions.

“We women were even recommended by SPLM party, Women League. And so we believe all those were recommended are qualified and at least three could have been picked as governors according to the agreement,” she explained.

Amer said all the recommended women were qualified and they can make changes in the administration of the States than men.

She said things like insecurity and other States’ problems could best be resolved by women since they have continued to be rampant during men’s administrations.

“We wonder what was wrong; the reason was not that women were not there, women were there, up to now we do not know what happened. So now we are raising our voices so that the leaders can put it into consideration.”

“We want our positions, they need to call off those who occupied our positions and the women must be appointed,” Amer said.

According to her, it was not too late for the parties to implement what they have signed in the agreement.

“If the reason is that they want generals, we also have the women who are generals which they can be appointed from there, we want them really to be abide by what they have signed,” she said.

The group said there is no reason to see women always struggling for their space, adding that women are peaceful people.

Meanwhile, Caroline Kibos the South Sudan Women Coalition for peace, Youth Representative to RJMEC said we welcomed the appointment of state governors on June 30, 2020 as a major step forward in the implementation of the R-ARCSS.

“Reminding the parties to the R-ARCSS of the urgent need to complete the appointment of the state governors for Upper Nile and Jonglei States to avoid further suffering of the people, especially women and girls; and further calling for speedy reconstitution of the Revitalized Transitional National Legislature.”

However she said the women are deeply concerned about the diminishing status of women participation in the peace processes in our country.

“We regret to bring to your attention the fact that appointments of both national ministers have fall short of women‘s 35% representation as well as States allocated to the SPLM party,” Kibos said.

To urgently redress this systematic under-representation of women in leadership in South Sudan. We recommend the following to the President of the Republic:

1. Reconsider these current appointments and have women occupy their rightful positions under the 35% quota as per the R-ACRSS, the Transitional Constitution and other legal instruments.

2. Honor the 35% quota for women in any appointments moving forward and taking into consideration the availability and competence of women leaders who can contribute towards peace and development in our country.

3. Taking it as priority, the protection of women and girls against sexual and gender based violence; encourage the development of clear programs.

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