A conference, organized by EVE Organization for Women Development, to develop National Strategic Priorities for women issues based for the transitional period and beyond took place in Kigali, Rwanda from 23rd to 27th February 2015.
The conference was attended by South Sudan women activists, government officials living in the country and in the diaspora and was graced by the presence of many Rwandan high government ranking officials and academia. Five South Sudanese men joined the women in developing the requisite road-map for engendered peace and development in the country.
This was on the realization that South Sudanese women are able to participate in direct peace negotiation reflecting the impact of women’s advocacy for participation in peace processes borrowing from a few successes where they have had significant influence on the processes.
The workshop relied heavily on the experiences and lessons learned from the Rwanda genocide, how they have been able to come out and forge ahead for social economic development, the experiences of other distinguished participants and aspirations of the South Sudan populace.
The desired future is a united women voice significantly influencing peace, political and socio-economic development in the country. Given the lessons learned from the briefing on the peace process, two scenarios arose. The first one is that the peace process has failed and the situation is characterized by fighting necessitating more negotiations. The second scenario is that the peace process has been completed and a transition government is formed.
For each of the scenarios the necessary changes to lead to the desired future were identified. The results were divided into short and long term and into those that require direct intervention of women CSOs and those that require lobbying and advocacy. Herewith a few highlights on some of the conclusions.
- Enhancing women political participation in South Sudan
- Conducting trainings for men & women leaders on the importance of gender equity at all levels;
- Lobby for increased women empowerment allocation on the National budget;
- Massive economic empowerment for women in South Sudan
- Enhancing the capacity of women in agriculture by conducting specialized trainings and mechanized trainings;
- Lobbying for the codification of customary law and its harmonization with statutory law for improved access to justice;
- Advocate for the enactment of the Family Laws;
- Lobby for the creation of Commission for Truth, Healing and Reconciliation
- Lobby for an increased Budget for the Ministry of Gender, Child, and Social Welfare.
For more details; refer to the full report of the conference.