South Sudan

Eastern Equatoria Pledges to Tackle Women’s Issues

drug link geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Governor Louis Lobong Lojore made the pledge at an event in the capital Torit organized by UNMISS and the state’s gender ministry to mark this year’s International Women’s Day.

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clinic geneva; color: #363636; font-size: small;”>He noted that serious challenges faced women in the State, but that progress had been made.

“We are moving slowly, but one day we will get there,” he told a group of more than 100 women representing various groups and interests in Eastern Equatoria.

“Some of the issues (early marriage and girl compensation) are embedded in the culture of the people, and this makes them difficult to address … it takes time,” Mr. Lobong said.

The Gender-based violence, harmful traditional practices, women’s empowerment and healthcare were issues the women said topped their agenda.


Torit County women’s leader Clementina Idwar described the lack of political space and infrequent appointment of women to public positions as “discrimination”, a charge the governor denied.

“We go to the same schools as the men, we have the same qualifications, but when it comes to appointments, they don’t consider us,” Ms. Idwar said.

Businesswoman Lilly Habita asked the government to create an environment allowing women entrepreneurs to successfully do business.

“We don’t get loans from the banks because we cannot own land … so we cannot even use our houses as collateral,” Ms. Idwar said.

The women also used the rare opportunity to meet face-to-face with leaders to suggest ways the government could approach highlighted challenges. The head of the parliamentary women’s caucus, Angela Achiro, proposed “legal reforms that will guarantee and protect the rights of women”.

Gender Minister Pasca Oduho promised her ministry would heed concerns the women had raised.

She urged women and civil society groups to conduct public education campaigns to end practices harmful to women and girls, especially in remote communities.


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