Women leaders in South Sudan welcomes peace deal, questions gender equality.

South Sudan's President, Salva Kiir (R) shaking hand with First Vice President designate Dr. Riek Machar Teny (L) in Addis Ababa after signing the revitalized agreement (File photo)

South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir (R) shaking hand with First Vice President designate Dr. Riek Machar Teny (L) in Addis Ababa after signing the revitalized agreement (File photo)

September 27th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudanese women leaders have welcomed the signing of the revitalized peace deal by South Sudan’s warring parties expressing concerns that they remain grossly underrepresented in the recently formed National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC).

In a joint statement issued on Wednesday following a 3-day workshop held in Djibouti, on women engagement in the implementation of the signed Revitalized Agreement, the leaders of women welcomed the steps taken by South Sudan’s rival factions in bringing about peace, noting that the peace accord is intended to chart the way towards peace and stability.

“We welcome the signing of the R-ARCSS by parties and stakeholders on 12 September 20l8. This agreement presents a great opportunity to move our country out of war and towards peace. Among its reformative provisions, is the requirement that 35% of all executive appointments must be women an increase from the 25% quota enshrined in the transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 (amended) and the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) of 20l5,” they said in the statement seen by the Nyamilepedia.

They hailed, the signing of the Revitalized Agreement, saying it will help set forth a new era for a lasting peace and raised opportunities for women to have their concerns addressed.

“This is a critical step forward for South Sudanese women who have been marginalized in governance and decision-making processes despite their indisputable capabilities as transformational leaders. We congratulate the parties for establishing the first institution for implementation of the R-ARCSS,” they added.

The group expressed dismay at the recent formation of the National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC) in which only one woman was nominated out of ten men.

“The National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC) through the Presidential Decree on 25 September. 20l8. We are however, gravely concerned that the 35% women participation quota provided for in the Agreement has not been observed, with only one woman nominated out of the ten nominees, after parties’ nominations to this executive body. The text of the R-ARCSS is clear: Article 1.4.4 states that 35% participation of women shall be observed to all appointments to the Executive. article l.4.6 also includes a broad commitment by parties to give due consideration to national diversity, gender and regional representation,” they further said.

They called on the parties to revisit the nomination of this body and make sure that four out of these ten members are replaced with four women.

“Furthermore, in the February 20l8 Declaration of Principles that set the tone for the ARCSS revitalization process. parties unequivocally agreed to at least 35% representation of women at all levels of Govermment. We therefore call upon the Parties to unreservedly revise these nominations to the National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC) to ensure that at least four of its ten members are women” the statement further said.

The representatives of women urged all signatories to the agreement to strictly adhere to Gender Equity at all levels, and honour terms and provisions of the Agreement.

“Going toward. all signatories to the (R-ARCSS) must adhere to at least the 35% quota for women in their appointments to all institutions created by the R-ARCSS. We implore parties to take it upon themselves to ensure that nominations to the various institutions and mechanisms of the Agreement reflect their broad commitment to gender diversity. and the specific commitment to 35% representation of women. We stand ready to recommend competent South Sudanese women,” they stressed.

The statement further called upon the
Revitalized Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC), IGAD and other entities to take onboard the 35% women representation in the upcoming selection of their secretariats.

“Over the coming weeks and months, the leadership and secretarial of the Revitalized Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC) and lGAD will receive party and stakeholders nominations to various bodies created by the Agreement. We call on these two entities to ensure that at least 35% of all nominations are women, prior to accepting or acting upon them. These entities should remind the parties of their obligations and responsibilities to adhere to the implementation of this agreement and observe its provisions,” added the statement.

This also applies to the appointments to the CISAMVM where the board and secretariat are to be chaired by IGAD nominees. There are many competent women who can make substantive contributions as participants and leaders in all these bodies,” The statement concluded.