Decision makers in South Sudan have been urged to appoint more women into senior positions as the country awaits the announcement of the new cabinet and state governors.
Since the appointment and swearing-in of the five vice presidents in late February, efforts have been geared towards the announcement of ministers, state governors and other officials as provided for by the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).
The peace parties have been engaged in negotiations over the distribution of ministerial positions.
"As we wait for our cabinet and gubernatorial appointments, we really need to strongly stress to the decision makers in this country, the need to bring more women in senior positions to govern and also in order to bring up other women," Dr Sinead Walsh, European Union Ambassador to South Sudan said during the launch of a book - Women's Experiences in South Sudan's Peace Process 2013-2018 yesterday at the University of Juba supported by the Swedish government.
Reflecting on her time in Sierra Leone, Dr Walsh said women should not just be appointed to fill up the 35 percent affirmative action quota but should hold meaningful portfolios and partake in decision making that shapes the future of South Sudan.
"From working with a lot of Sierra Leonean women, one thing is that they used to tell me that they benefited from the quota but once that is done, the men completely ignored them. They were given the most meaningless positions," she recalled. "So, we really need to watch out on how to support women once they are in government positions; not just to tick the boxes and say that's great, we met the 35% quota but to mentor women so that they can perform well for the people of the country."
The book authored by Prof. Pauline Elaine Riak, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Rumbek University of Science and Technology and Dr Angelina Bazugba, Director of the National Transformation Leadership Institute, University of Juba, highlights the major achievements, challenges and lessons women learnt during the peace process from 2013 to 2018.
The book launch attracted foreign diplomats, academia, former ministers and also members of the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.
University of Juba
Kololo, Juba South Sudan