Torit, November 2018
At the verge of the 16 days of activism in 2018, Eve Organization under the project “Strengthening advocacy efforts for women’s protection through community and local government engagement” engaged community and traditional leaders, local government, religious leaders to address Gender based violence (GBV) in Torit – Imatong state, South Sudan from 20 – 25 November 2018. The meeting enhanced the capacities of the leaders to identify gaps in the existing state’s policies and encouraged dialogue to address issues of women and girls protection within the communities.
The key actors in this programme included
- The Paramount chief, chiefs and sub-chiefs,
- Local government Director General,
- Members of parliament,
- Advisor to Torit Governor for girl-child education
- Members of Civil Society and Women’s Organizations and groups
The meeting started with a briefing on the revitalized agreement on the resolution of conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS). This was followed by introduction on GBV and its impact on the welfare of women, families and communities at large. The introduction to GBV helped the leaders understand the key concepts and terms that could help them mainstream gender in their local policies and customary laws. Other component of the training included group discussions, experiences sharing and challenges that leaders face in addressing GBV in Torit communities. Sessions on advocacy and coordination, community and resource mobilization to support community outreach programs were also discussed.
To practice what they have learnt, participants carried out an outreach program in Hai Ingaz with the Ilanyi Community in Torit. At the end of the outreach, the community leaders prioritized three main issues as their immediate target
- Girl child compensation,
- Rape and
- Girl child Forced Marriage
The leaders acknowledged the challenges that women and girls faced in the communities and committed themselves to contribute to addressing some of the challenges. By the end of the training, the community leaders came up with action points that they will pursue to address GBV in Torit
- A one-year Radio program: Radio Torit offered free airtime for the group to have a weekly one-hour talk show on GBV from January-December 2019. The group will come up with a variety of topics for discussion and will evaluate the program every three months
- Community outreach Program: The Director General of Local government committed to spearhead the community outreach program and will allocate a specific budget from 2019 to cover some of the outreach programs. The outreach program will particularly target girl child compensation, rape and forced marriages.
EVE Organization will continue to support, monitor and follow up with the leaders on gains made.