South Sudan launches its first UNSCR 1325 National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security.“Right before the independence of South Sudan in 2011, we saw the need for UNSCR 1325 NAP for South Sudan” Rita M. Lopidia, the Executive Director of EVE Organization for Women Development – South Sudan.The long awaited South Sudan UNSCR 1325 National Action has finally been launched on the 10 May 2016 in Juba South Sudan. Today; South Sudan can be counted among the 60 plus member states that have developed UNSCR 1325 National Action Plans.The development of the South Sudan UNSCR 1325 started in early 2012; a process that was initiated by South Sudan’s Women Civil society Organizations together with the National Ministry of Gender, Child and Social welfare.
EVE Organization for Women Development, a pioneer of UNSCR 1325 in South Sudan, today reaped the fruits of its labor since 2010. This is a huge achievement and a milestone for the women of South Sudan. The launch of the South Sudan UNSCR 1325 happened at a time when the country is also going through the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU) for the implementation of the Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS). If given the deserved attention and political, this NAP will change the situation of women in South Sudan.
The purpose of the National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 is to increase the participation of women in crisis prevention, conflict management and post conflict peace building and to protect them against any form of gender-based violence, and in particular sexual violence, in situations of armed conflict and in times of peace – which is relevant in the current context of the country.
The NAP covers three main strategic goals;
- Increase women’s effective participation in leadership and peace building and strengthen gender perspectives in the South Sudan’s state building and reconstruction processes
- Support security sector reforms and professionalize security sector institutions to enable them to implement UNSCR 1325
- Strengthen efforts to prevent and protect women and girls against any form of violence; promote the prosecution of perpetrators and increase support to survivors of sexual and gender based violence.
Working with UNSCR 1325
Since its inception in 2005, EVE Organization based its work on the resolution to address the challenges facing women in South Sudan such as women political participation, protection of women in times of conflict and against violence including sexual violence and the economic support to improve women’s livelihood after the long period of conflict that the country had been through.
In 2012, EVE Organization with its global partners, Operation 1325-Sweden and the Global Network of Women Peace Builders (GNWP) and a number of women’s organizations and other civil society organizations (CSOs) convened in Juba and formed the CSO NAP 1325 Coordinating Committee. This committee worked tirelessly to lobby and advocate for the initiation of the development of the South Sudan while monitoring the implementation of the resolution in the country.
While advocating for the development of the NAP, EVE Organization threw its weight consistently from 2012 – 2015 to raise awareness about the resolution to different stakeholders including government institutions, civil society Organizations, grassroots women groups and local government at both national and state levels. However this had been an uphill task since not so many were aware of the resolution.
According to the Executive Director of EVE Organization, the journey is still long for South Sudan to realize equal participation in decision-making and improved status of the grassroots women in terms of basic services such as health, education and improved livelihood. “ While this is a milestone for the women of South Sudan, the challenge of implementation remains ahead of us. We call upon the government of the Republic of South Sudan to show the political will and international development partners and the UN to continue to support the women of South Sudan for the implementation of the UNSCR 1325 NAP for South Sudan”. Says Rita M. Lopidia during her remarks at the launch of the South Sudan NAP.
Thanks to all our partners the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, Cordaid, Operation 1325, the Global Network of women peace builders and the former Joint Donor Team, UN Women, UNMISS and the Canadian Funds for Local Initiative that have worked closely with EVE Organization.