To General Salva Kiir Mayardit, President, Republic of South Sudan,
Through Dr. Joseph Nguen Manytuil, Governor, Unity State,
Dear Mr. President,
March 8th, 2021(Nyamilepedia) — On this day, Liech Community Association in Kenya would like to express herself frankly on the growing cases of discrimination against women in Unity State. We are of the opinion that this is an emotive issue that needs to be confronted head-on, with a view to make our region an equal and progressive society for all its citizenry.
Going by the name Unity State, we should discard any act of disunity by all means at our disposal. Instead we should toil to encourage unity of our people through gender balance et cetera. We cannot continue to discriminate our women in our leadership for no good reason. Liech community Association in Kenya was founded on Human Rights principles of equality and non-discrimination. In other words, Liech community Association is an independent Human Rights Organization with a moral duty to remind the state on its legal obligation to protect and promote Human Rights.
Since its inception, Liech community Association in Kenya has always come out to address the National and State Leaderships on wide range of issues including those that makes our women to cry in silence every now and then. You aware the ‘‘International Human Rights treaties prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender and also require States to ensure the protection and realization of women’s Rights in all Areas from property ownership and freedom from violence, to equal access to education and participation in government.’’
On 17th February 2021, we interacted with the letter of appointment of Unity State Ministers, County Commissioners and heads of the Unity state Commissions. Again, we were surprised to learn that there were only two women in the list of seventeen State Ministers.
Also in the list of seven county commissioners, there was no name of woman mentioned as county commissioner. Equally, among the five state Advisors, there was no single woman appointed to advise the Unity State Government. Prior to these latest appointments, several directors of various State Ministries were appointed but no woman featured as director.
They were all male directors. We hereby protest this continued discrimination against women, mothers and Girls of Unity State. This ploy to lock out our women in decision- making positions must stop for the good of Unity State. In our view, this presidential appointments and decrees are aimed at maintaining status quo of keeping the women in the kitchen, forgetting that kitchens are no longer the preserve of women in Africa.
In this regard, we do not want to team up with other group of persons who keeps telling our Governor Dr. Joseph Nguen Manytuil that everything he does is okay even when there is a visible problem which need to be corrected forthwith.
We felt that if do not point out this issue on time, we shall be committing an offence of conspiracy of silence against the great women of Unity State and the Leadership of Governor Dr. Nguen Manytuil. So we are not ready to take part in this conspiracy against our women, because we want the Governor Dr. Nguen Manytuil and his leadership to succeed in its mandate to drive Unity State to the next level of development, Unity and reconciliation.
It must be noted that the Presidency has erred in its recent appointment for excluding a good number of women in the leadership of Unity State. In these modern days, an organization or government that excluded its women cannot for go for it keeps stumbling and falling.
Having said that, we demanded from His Excellency the President, and the entire RTGoNU fraternity to nominate and appoint more Women of Unity State as legislators both in the National and State Legislatures. You would recall the neighboring country of Rwanda has always been praised for being the fastest growing economy because they have huge number of women in the three arms of Government. We can do this commendable work if we want to excel in South Sudan.
The excuse for not appointing Unity State women should not be the lack of women to lead and service in public offices. Unity State is not short of competent women who have the requisite qualifications and interest to occupy those positions provided for in the Revitalized Agreement on the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCISS).
Few years ago the women of Unity State were at the forefront during the peace negotiation, and thus they deserve an opportunity to serve and advance the objectives of the IGAD brokered Peace Agreement.
Dak Buoth Riek-Gaak is the Chairman of Liech community Association in Kenya. He can be reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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