A new report by Women rights defenders indicates that the recently signed South Sudan Peace deal lacked a fundamental gender perspective, hanging the safety of venerable groups in balance.
The Addis-Ababa, US brokered peace deal saw the formation of a Unity government comprising of 5 vice presidents, entrusted with a three years duty to organize the first ever general election, conduct a disarmament program and integration all armed groups into a national army, in addition to the reduction of South Sudan States from 32 to only 10.
A consortium of Women Rights group from Uganda and South Sudan now argue that with only one Woman expected to share the Vice Presidency; the deal lacked gender lenses to ensure the 35% women representation cuts across all decision making levels.
Hellen Kezie Nwoha the Executive Director Women’s International Peace Center who conducted the study, says the 35% women share of decision making positions should cut across all government structures, if the new unity government were to be effective.
“Even the five Vice President Positions, its only one that is a woman – Rebecca Garang. This does not fully reflect equity; it should mirror a 50/50 distribution,” asserted Kezie Nwoha, as she disseminated the report at a South Sudan Women refugee Conference on Peace Building , in Adjumani district.
The conference brought together South Sudan Refugee Women in Ugandan Settlement camps from Koboko, Yumbe and Andjumani Districts.
On her part, head of South Sudan’s Center for Inclusive Governance, peace and Justice Jacqueline Nasiwa, called for a deliberate policy structure, to ensure women are directly part of the entire South Sudan’s peace process to yield tangible results, being the most victimized group of the 6 years insurgence.
Meanwhile women refugees from Uganda called for stricter gender sensitive safety measure by the newly set Unity government, before they can return back home.
These to them include an all Inclusive peace building process, the institution of a national reconciliation program, a quick disarmament strategy, and a functioning set of state institutions for viable, safe, and secure social economic and Political environment for vulnerable groups, like women, and children.