Cover Story

Women urge parties to implement 35 percent

By Moses Gum

Parties to the conflict have been urged by to ‘unreservedly’ implement the 35 percent participation and representation of women as provided for in the Revitalized Peace Agreement.

The call was made yesterday by South Sudan Women’s Coalition for Peace (SSWCP), a coalition of more than 50 diverse organizations, institutions and individual activists committed to promoting gender and women’s rights, good governance, peace building and development in South Sudan.

They said submission of lists of nominees by parties and stakeholders for different mechanisms and institutions of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) is a commendable step towards implementation of the newly signed peace agreement but called for respect of the 35 percent.

“We call upon all parties and stakeholders to remain steadfast in all implementation endeavors,” the women said in a press statement. “However, we are deeply concerned that the nominations lists submitted to the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) since the signing of the peace agreement have been gender insensitive,” the women said.

The women coalition said they sadly noted that nominations have fallen short of fulfilling the commitment by parties to adhere to Articles 1.4.4 and 1.4.6, which are key provisions and principles applicable during the Pre- Transitional Period as well as throughout the Transitional Period.

“In the two Articles, parties are required to ensure that their nominations to different institutions and mechanisms of the agreement including the executive will guarantee participation and representation (35%) of women, and also commit parties to give consideration to national diversity, gender and regional representation”, read the statement in part.

It stated that the SPLM Leaders (FPD) in a letter dated 5th October 2018 to JMEC, submitted an all-male list of their nominees for six institutions and mechanisms created by the R-ARCSS.

“This, in our view, is unacceptable and unjustifiable. As women of South Sudan, we have viewed the FPD as an entity that fights for the interest of the citizens of South Sudan and we expect them to recognize women as an integral part of the society that can equally contribute in the implementation of the R-ARCSS,” the Coalition added.The women expressed that failure of the initiative demonstrated such standards during implementation of this agreement raises doubts.

“We are aware that FPD has few members among whom are qualified women. We see no reason why their nomination falls short of women’s representation. We therefore strongly urge the SPLM Leaders (FPD) to review its nominations to include at least 35% women representation” the statement further read.

The women Coalition further appealed to all parties to the R-ARCSS to remain true to their commitment and fully implement the provision of at least 35% women’s representation and participation at all levels during the Pre-Transition and throughout the Transition Period.

“We would like to remind parties that the women of South Sudan are watching and monitoring and will hold them to account during the anticipated future elections.”They called on JMEC to keenly and urge the parties adhere to the letter and spirit of the peace agreement“South Sudanese women need peace, a genuine one through implementation of the R-ARCSS. But peace implementation that excludes women is an utter disregard to the phenomenal and historical contribution of women to the past struggle for founding South Sudan as well as nation building and development in future.  It is a half peace if it excludes more than half of South Sudan’s population; the indisputable champions of peace who are the women of South Sudan,” the women added.

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