Opinion: Women and the rule of law in South Sudan

By Jackline Akuot Mangok

South Sudan women taking a photo in Juba, South Sudan (Photo credit: IGAD)

South Sudan women taking a photo in Juba, South Sudan (Photo credit: IGAD)

June 25, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – The rule of law is the restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws’. In this case, the well-defined laws of South Sudan are; the Transitional Constitution, 2011, Islamic laws, Customary practices, and General international principles.

Role of women in ensuring the functionality of the rule of law

In an African setting, women play a very vital role in educating society in all aspects of life. Women are known as the best home managers because they have the power of communication and patience. A woman would spread her wings further than a male counterpart to cover her eggs and this translates into her ability to control in a way, without using violence. They teach us from infancy until we are old enough to make sound decisions for ourselves, they also take care of us at old age. In short, women touch our lives in positive ways across all ages. There is no single decision that can be made without a woman’s opinion that will have no regret. This is an emphasis on how powerful women are and can be.

In every society, women have as equal duties as their male counterparts to respect the laws of the country and to uphold her sovereignty. This statement places our women at the core of helping in transforming into a law-abiding country. If women are given the responsibility of educating masses about embracing and upholding the rule of law, then we stand in the face of success. It will be a sure bet that women will start emulating and upholding laws within their families before they reach the masses. This will maximize the quest for transforming our country for the better through the rule of law.

 What needs to be done?

The government needs to identify the groups of qualified women, including those serving in the government and in civil service. Orient them on what laws to educate people and state clearly how to carry out the task.

Political goodwill

The government and government agencies, NGOs, Opposition, and any other stakeholders must accord goodwill towards such initiative. They must as well be ready to give necessary financial support.

There must be laws to back up this women initiative, In the transitional Constitution of 2011, Article 9(1), Article 16, and  Article 39 place the basis for women participation in public affairs, but are they enough to back up this noble initiative?

How to implement this initiative

As per the transitional constitution of 2011, the government has accorded the women positions in the government to be 25 percent. This has been increased by the human rights to 35percent which has been endorsed by the government.

This is a good percentage in my opinion which can enable women to participate overwhelmingly in all public affairs. My view is that these same people in these positions should be tasked with the duty to teach the masses on embracing and upholding the rule of law in this country. I am very sure our lawmakers can be of great help as well given that there is no much work done in parliament except for specific days and hours. This will also ensure the government does not need to incur costs it won’t be able to pay. It will be a relatively cheap and affordable project.

Conclusion

A society whose pillars are built on the rule of law is one destined to prosper. Thomas Hobbes, a philosopher develops the way out of the state of nature into the political society and government by mutual contracts. He embraces laws as a unifying factor agreed upon by all members of a certain society to guide and rule them against each person’s state of nature. These rules must be however known and understood in order to be applied and abided by. My point stresses on the fact that we have a good number of women working in the government but they do not have a lot of work to do. Assign them this task, because they are the right people to spread the word of the rule of law.

The author is an Advocate at Kuethpiny Deng Nhumrom & Company Advocate. She can be reached via: nyanmangokk@gmail.com


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