SOUTH SUDAN / WOMEN EMPOWERMENT

13-May-2019 00:03:44
During his trip to South Sudan, the UN peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix met with women’s group to discuss women’s role in the implementation of the peace agreement. UNMISS
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STORY: SOUTH SUDAN / WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
TRT: 3:44
SOURCE: UNMISS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGES: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 11 MAY 2019, JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN
SHOTLIST
1. Various Shots, women and girls in POC
2. Various Shots, Mary Akech Bior in Loby
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Mary Akech Bior, Women’s Bloc of South Sudan:
“Nobody is supporting the women of South Sudan and we are just looking to the world, what is going on? Always people come to us and ask what are women of South Sudan saying? What are you doing? How are you seeing things? But we don’t have supporters to support us doing it, like the dissemination of the peace agreement, which as I said before, will be good for the women of South Sudan to do so with the civil society together because we are the majority and we are the ones affected by war. We have no interest in war. Our interest is to have peace in the nation.”
4. Various Shots, meeting with the Women’s Group
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations:
“If nothing happens within the next six months, we will be in the same situation that we are in today. In fact, we think that if nothing happens, the situation will deteriorate six months’ from now, so it’s quite critical to really do our best. You can count on the AU, IGAD and UN’s commitment, we are absolutely determined to support peace and the implementation of the agreement.”
6. Various Shots, meeting with the Women’s Group
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Hon. Theresa Cirisio, Chairperson of Sanu National: “Women have suffered a lot and it’s good that South Sudan women are very resilient and are really moving on to try and overcome this conflict. They suffer from sexual conflict, they suffer from traditional beliefs, because we believe - Africans in general, especially in South Sudan - tradition doesn’t allow women to take up some of the professions. They think that it’s male-originated, and it should be male dominated, like for example in our forces. The percentage of women is well below 10 per cent. As to now, women we are trying our best to see to it that we come up to address the 35 per cent given to us by the revitalized peace agreement and we really urge that women should get a better chance in capacity-building because it is women who know what it is that hurts women and how to bring women side-to-side with men.”
8. Various Shots, meeting with the Women’s Group
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Chergui Smail, African Union Peace and Security Commissioner:
“During our interaction, specifically with the President but also with all stakeholders, the issue of empowering women, the issue of inclusivity, the issue of protecting women, the issue of gender-based violence is at the heart of our action. And I can assure you that we in the African Union are taking very seriously these issues.”
10. Various Shots, delegates shaking hands with women’s group
STORYLINE
During his trip to South Sudan, the UN peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix met with women’s group to discuss women’s role in the implementation of the peace agreement.

Women and girls have borne the brunt of the six-year long conflict in South Sudan. Thousands have experienced the threat or reality of abduction, rape, deprivation, displacement and death.

Many were forced to flee their homes and are supporting their families on their own. A peace deal offers fresh hope of a brighter future. But women say it is time for real action from the country’s leaders and the international community to make the promise of peace a reality.

SOUNDBITE (English) Mary Akech Bior, Women’s Bloc of South Sudan:
“Nobody is supporting the women of South Sudan and we are just looking to the world, what is going on? Always people come to us and ask what are women of South Sudan saying? What are you doing? How are you seeing things? But we don’t have supporters to support us doing it, like the dissemination of the peace agreement, which as I said before, will be good for the women of South Sudan to do so with the civil society together because we are the majority and we are the ones affected by war. We have no interest in war. Our interest is to have peace in the nation.”

Women’s representatives and parliamentarians shared their views on the peace process with a high-powered delegation from the UN, African Union and Intergovernmental Authority on Development who are on a flying visit to the country.

Their trip follows a decision to delay the formation of a new transitional government by six months in an attempt to resolve outstanding issues, including the unification of armed forces and formation of new states.

While the delegation acknowledges the need for the extension of time, it is urging political leaders to take urgent action to fully implement the agreement.

SOUNDBITE (English) Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations:
“If nothing happens within the next six months, we will be in the same situation that we are in today. In fact, we think that if nothing happens, the situation will deteriorate six months’ from now, so it’s quite critical to really do our best. You can count on the AU, IGAD and UN’s commitment, we are absolutely determined to support peace and the implementation of the agreement.”

Women’s groups are demanding parties live up to their commitment to implement a 35 per cent quota for women in the armed forces and the new government.

SOUNDBITE (English) Hon. Theresa Cirisio, Chairperson of Sanu National: “Women have suffered a lot and it’s good that South Sudan women are very resilient and are really moving on to try and overcome this conflict. They suffer from sexual conflict, they suffer from traditional beliefs, because we believe - Africans in general, especially in South Sudan - tradition doesn’t allow women to take up some of the professions. They think that it’s male-originated, and it should be male dominated, like for example in our forces. The percentage of women is well below 10 per cent. As to now, women we are trying our best to see to it that we come up to address the 35 per cent given to us by the revitalized peace agreement and we really urge that women should get a better chance in capacity-building because it is women who know what it is that hurts women and how to bring women side-to-side with men.”

Women also want to see justice for the crimes they have suffered, particularly for perpetrators of sexual violence to held accountable in court. The delegation is taking up their cause.

SOUNDBITE (English) Chergui Smail, African Union Peace and Security Commissioner:
“During our interaction, specifically with the President but also with all stakeholders, the issue of empowering women, the issue of inclusivity, the issue of protecting women, the issue of gender-based violence is at the heart of our action. And I can assure you that we in the African Union are taking very seriously these issues.”

The women are disappointed by the six-month delay in the political process but they remain optimistic that, if they are given the opportunity to take the leadership roles they deserve, lasting peace will become a reality in South Sudan.
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