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YEI - 16 Jul 2019

Yei women demand 35% representation in government

Women leaders in Yei River State are demanding for effective representation of women at all levels of government as provided for in the peace agreement.

The peace deal, signed in September 2018, grants women 35% presentation at the national and state levels of governments.

Speaking at a workshop organized by the Center for Democracy and Development (CEDED) on Saturday, Hawa Adams, a women's rights activist, said women at the local levels have been marginalized and neglected in decision making processes.

“There is lack of transparency when it comes to issues of women, there is lack of inclusion of women in decision making at all levels. The women also lack clear explanations on the provision of the affirmative action in the peace agreement,” said Hawa.

She appealed to civil society organizations operating in the state to help in disseminating provisions of the peace accord on women representation to all groups of women in the urban and rural areas to promote their representation in the next government.

“We need the dissemination to reach the rural areas of Yei River State so that women can understand the peace process and the provisions on women in the next government,” said Hawa.

She added, “We are calling on the government and NGOs [Non-Governmental Organizations] to empower more women to participate in governance in Yei River State”.

Victoria Nasirah Augustine, the director general in the state ministry of gender, lauded the women for working for peace and stability.

She urged South Sudanese women to stand up and fight for inclusion to overcome challenges of underrepresentation in all structures of governance.

“Women in Yei are halfway organized through associations, but unfortunately they decline to participate in governance after the signing of the revitalized peace agreement. Most women here have basic education and are capable of participating in any sector,” said Nasirah.

“We need hard work and commitment for women empowerment so as to claim representation. The 35% demands our serious commitment to compete equally with men,” she added.

On his part, Erick Moses, CEDED’s executive director urged women leaders to stand up and take responsibility at all governance levels.

He said CEDED and its partners will work hard to empower more women leaders to claim their participation and representation in the formation of the next government due in November.

“Let’s not fear, let’s work with other women in the government and other sectors and let’s rise up because the 35% affirmative action has been created, but you have to claim it. As a civil society organization, we will continue to work together so that we can build our state and the nation together,” said Eric.

Several women leaders in the parliament, women rights activists, students, civil society actors and state politicians attended the workshop organized to explore the key provisions for women representation in the revitalized peace agreement.

Rival leaders failed to establish a new government as stipulated in the peace deal by May 12.The formation of the unity government was extended by six months to November.