By Yang Ater Yang
Lakes state joined the rest of the country to celebrate the International Women’s Day.
Lakes state’s government officials, UN Agencies, NGOs Civil society, community leaders, youths and women all joined to celebrate the day under the global theme; Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow and gender Equality for the future sustainability, promote and celebrate women and girls achievement and resilience in Lakes state capital Rumbek.
Addressing the gathering, Angelina Ding Mario, the state Minister of Child, Gender and Social Welfare said that the right of females in terms of awareness and equal education should have to be empowered by the different entities including the UN agencies to avoid violation of the rights of women.
The Director General in the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, Peter Gum Ater urged citizens of Lakes state to allow their girls not to get married before completing secondary school and university level.
He also encouraged the women to operate beautiful business activities in their residential locations to advance the livelihood and self-reliance.
Women association’s representative Mrs. Mary Ayen Makoi requested both government and their partners to provide the accelerated learning programs (ALP) for an adult’s education to the women such to promote literacy across the nation.
She also appealed to the partners that women are entitled to run businesses in order to raise financial prosperity, Agro-business and among others to empower capacity building of women to achieve the gender equality.
Daniel Laat Kon, coordinator Community Empowerment for Progress for Organization (CEPO) in Lakes state said the Revitalized Transitional Government in Lakes state has to respect the implementation of the 35 percent women affirmative action.
He condemned the recent reshuffle in which a female was removed from the Ministry of labour and replaced by a man.
Currently there are two female ministers among the state cabinet out of 17 ministries in the Lakes state government, which is a total violation of women representation in political arena.
He said women could greatly contribute to the upbringing and education, giving the upper hand to the logic of peace, reducing poverty, hunger, diseases and environmental degradation, and promoting sustainable development opportunities in South Sudan.
He said CEPO believed that advancing women political participation at all levels of governance is a very important step that must be taken towards the gender equality and elimination of all forms of gender biasness and discrimination against women.