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“It is our right”: Women push for 35% Affirmative Action in parliamentary nominations

Juba, South Sudan

June 08, 2021 – South Sudanese women’s groups are calling on President Kiir to delay the swearing-in of the recent reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly until the partners in the Transitional Government of the National Unity implement grant the 35% allocation for women.

“It is our right”: Female activists push for 35% Affirmative Action in parliamentary nominations
Mary Akech Bior, Chairperson, South Sudan Women’s Block

Speaking to the media, Mary Akech Bior, the Chairperson of the women’s block, urged leaders to observe and respect the provisions of the agreement which stipulate clearly on how government positions should be allocated. Akech said it was not a request but rather the right of women to demand what is clearly stated in the agreement.

“We are not begging, it is our right like any rights of other parties who signed the agreement, we are the signatories to the revitalized peace agreement, we accepted to have 35%”, she said.

In a statement extended to Nyamilepedia, the women are also asking for partners to allocate the chair of the National Parliament to them.

Bior added that they should be reconsidered because they are mothers, sisters, and daughters to some of those refusing to comply with the content of the agreement.

“They should consider us because we are their sisters, daughters, and mothers and every one of them have female in his family “, Bior emphasized.

According to the agreement, 192 appointees should be women from all parties. However, only 142 have been appointed by all parties, which only accounts for 32% percent or 3% percent less than the required amount.

Many partners to the peace agreement including ITGoNU led by President Kiir, SSOA, OPP, and FDs have done very little in respecting the stipulation of 35% with the exception of the SPLM-IO which appointed three women to the key portfolio in the country.

Akech says for the new legislators to take the oath, the 35% Affirmative Action provision must be met.

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