Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

A colourful parade, traditional dancing, drama performances, and thousands of people came together for the celebration of International Women’s Day in Mundri.

Organized by the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, with support from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and humanitarian partners, the event was held under the national theme “Accelerate gender equality through inclusion and access to productive resources for women.”

Christine Sitty, Chairperson of a women’s group in Mundri, was part of the crowd gathered for the commemorations. She stressed everyone’s right to move freely without being afraid.

“We are feeling safe in town, but that is not enough. We need security to visit our farms in remote areas as well,” she said, adding, on a different note, that all women in South Sudan, including the large portion of widows and orphans among them, deserve everyone’s respect.

As befitted the occasion, South Sudan’s Minister of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, Aya Benjamin Warile, was in Mundri, saying that girls and women must be adequately empowered if gender equality is to be achieved.

“This day lets individuals and communities learn about the challenges women face so that everyone can work towards solving these problems. This year’s theme underscores the crucial role of inclusion in achieving gender equality. It is a call for action to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes and create environments where all women are valued and respected,” she affirmed.

Representing the UN family, Anita Kiki Gbeho, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General for UNMISS, and Resident&Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, reiterated the world body’s commitment to supporting initiatives to increase women’s meaningful inclusion and representation, not least in political and peacebuilding processes.

“Women’s participation in the peace process offers our best chance for sustainable peace. We urge South Sudan to make sure that women are included in the drafting of a permanent constitution and that their civic and political space, as stipulated in the revitalized peace agreement, is provided. Measures to ensure a minimum of 35 per cent political representation should be enacted.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

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