Southern Sudan: Celebration of commitment to women’s rights
31 March 2011

Without education and training, breaking down barriers to gender inequality will be almost impossible, Kajo Keji, Sudan (Angela Hellmuth/JRS)
Currently, many women are forced to work in jobs which do not pay adequately or are not as challenging as those available to men.
Kajo Keji, 31 March 2011 – More than 300 civil society organisations and official representatives gathered to celebrate their commitment to women’s rights.

Addressing civil society leaders, the chairperson of the organising committee, Esther Koiti, called upon all stakeholders to do their utmost to ensure women have equal access to education, training, and science and technology services. This sort of change, she continued, will help address issues of inequality and the struggle against domestic violence.

The event, entitled Equal Access to Education, Training, Science and Technology, was held on 8 March to commemorate International Women’s Day. The event was attended by representatives from JRS, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), local leaders, community-based groups, church leaders and teachers. The occasion was characterised by traditional dances, singing, drama, and speeches on the theme of the day.

Bridge gender inequalities

Officiating at the event in the border county, the Kajo Keji local commissioner, Muki Batal, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to women’s rights. He thanked women for their hard work during the recent referendum on independence. Southern Sudan, he continued, will become independent on 9 July, humbly urging the women to continue making such a contribution in building the new nation.

In reference to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the south and the north reserving 25 percent of all senior positions in the public sector for women, secretary of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, the Honourable David Moses Lokonga, urged women to take action, commit themselves to education, and acquire the skills needed to assume such governmental positions in order to bridge gender inequalities.

Secretary Lokonga also encouraged women to compete in leadership and political positions at the local and national level. In addition, he called on women’s associations to raise awareness among their members of their efforts to eliminate domestic violence. 

Equal access for women

Currently, many women are forced to work in jobs which do not pay adequately or are not as challenging as those available to men.

The JRS Affirmative Action Programme in Kajo Keji strives to promote equal access to education so that better jobs and more types of jobs are available to women. As such, focus is put on ensuring that girls are trained in science and technology, so that they will have increased access to meaningful work.

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