The commitment of leaders to a 35% quota for women’s participation is a huge accomplishment for South Sudan. This would send an important message to South Sudanese – and to the world – about the kind of country we are striving for: one that sees women and girls realizing their right to live a life free from violence, that promotes and protects their rights, and recognizes their power to lead.
While parties have committed to the quota for women’s representation in the R-ARCSS, it is not being implemented. For example, only one of the pre-transitional bodies set up to implement the revitalized peace agreement meet the quota. Part of the problem is that parties have committed as a collective, and are relying on others to make up the difference they are leaving. But, if the leaders were to commit to meeting the threshold in all their individual party’s appointments, we could easily reach 35% representation – probably even surpass it.
PETITION ON THE MATTER OF 35% WOMEN REPRESENTATION IN SOUTH SUDAN
WHEREAS we the undersigned are South Sudanese women and men resident in South Sudan and in the diaspora as well friends of South Sudan from all over the world, and,
WHEREAS the rights of women and girls continue to be restricted in South Sudan, including pervasive sexual and gender based violence which seeks to undermine the autonomy and capacity of women and girls,
WHEREAS we the undersigned believe in equal rights between women and men,
WHEREAS we the undersigned have interest in increasing women’s access to leadership positions at community, sub-national and national levels,
We note the following:
a. That the integral involvement of women is vital and inevitable, that it improves governance and makes peace more inclusive and sustainable;
b. That South Sudanese women and girls make up more than 50% of the country’s population and have fully contributed the struggle for independence and peace;
c. That they have equal right to participate in building and shaping their communities and the nation; and,
d. That there exist specific provisions in South Sudan legislation guaranteeing the role of women in leadership and protecting the rights of women and girls;
e. That these provisions include a 35% quota for women in the composition of the Executive of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity; however,
f. That these laws and policies remain largely unimplemented; and,
g. That only one of the bodies set up in the Pre-Transitional Period for the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement meets the 35% quota; yet,
h. That there can be no viable or sustainable peace and the full potential of South Sudan cannot be realized unless women are afforded key roles in leadership from the community to the national level;
Therefore, we the undersigned pray that the parties to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan will:
1. Reinvigorate progress on the implementation of the revitalized agreement ahead of the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government;
2. Publicly re-commit to the 35% quota provided for in the agreement;
3. Legislate the 35% quota into domestic law, particularly in the Constitution of South Sudan, and,
4. Ensure that 35% of the nominations submitted by their party at all levels – not just the executive – are women.
The #BornToLead: Petition for 35% Women Representation in South Sudan petition to Signatories to the R-ARCISS was written by Nuswan Gidaam and is in the category Women's Rights at GoPetition.