By Ephraim Modi D.S
The government and representatives from UN agencies yesterday concluded a quiz consultation in Juba for members of South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) and Staff from Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs.
The occurrence was organized by UN women in support with United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) which reflected on women’s inclusion in the security mechanism and the organized forces of the country.
Speaking in the opening remarks at the event, the Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs, Angelina Teny commemorated the UN agencies for supporting women’s’ initiatives that chains gender mainstreaming in the army.
“…I want to take this opportunity to thank not only UN Women but some of the other UN agencies UNMISS, UNMISS has been supporting us in (on) issues of conflict related sexual violence within the arm forces, and how we can create a safe environment for women within the organized forces,” Angelina Expressed.
“I also want to remember UNICEF here, UNICEF has been working with us to address the issues of children and arm forces and so on,… we have had very wonderful outcome of the work that was done with (by) UNICEF, this would help remove South Sudan from the (shames) of the Secretary General on Children and so on” she added.
Teny emphasized on the shield of women’s attachment and involvement in the army which is still a long hand to be implemented by the government.
“Despite the fact that the policy framework that is to be guiding this process of ensuring the inclusion and participation of women in the organized forces is still in the pipeline. It has not prevented us from starting the work because there’s also some kind of activities of ensuring that attention within the army” Angelina highlighted.
The Minister of Gender, Child and Social Welfare Aya Benjamin guaranteed about the command of the ministry in certifying that women are looked up in the sanctuary of the country.
“…Gender mainstreaming is our mandate, especially gender mainstreaming in our security sector now is considered one of the reformed agenda we have as we implement it in this peace agreement,” Minister Aya assured.
Minister Aya also said that the inclusivity of the women at the security sector and the army would hasten the development of the country and reserve the women’s rights to be sheltered
“It is our desire to see into it that you (women) participate at your different levels and your capacities to the development of this country and the ministry of gender would to see into it that women are also given the opportunity to deliver into their full attention and this can only be done they are given the conducive environment so that they can be able to deliver. The conducive environment includes their protection because they have their unique needs” Aya said.
“We also want to see into it that they are retained, they are promoted and more women are encouraged to join the security sector. We know that when we are given equal opportunities, when women participate the peace is sustainable. So, it is important that everybody takes up their role, and we can only do that when we work towards gender mainstreaming in the security sector,” she added.
Aya expressed gratitude for being part of the meeting of exchange visit to Rwanda and Ghana and appreciate the partners who alleviated the visit.