MP urges women to fight for their rights in constitution

By Akol Madut Ngong

A legislator at the Transitional National Legislation Assembly and a member of the specialized committee of Legislation and Justice at the parliament has urged women to know their rights and ensure they are clearly spelled out in the constitution as the Country move to make a permanent constitutional.

Margret Samuel Aru, a Member of the Justice Committee made her appeal to her fellow women at the sideline of a consultative workshop organized by Un Women on the constitution making process to discuss issues affecting women in the society and have a gender responsive permanent constitution making process. 

Margret said they want to sensitize their women on constitutional issue, “We want them to know the provisions on the constitution and we want them to disseminate what is in the constitution to our population who are in the grassroots level” Margret said.

“We women have many issues, for example in the constitution, we don’t have marriageable age, we want women to know their right and what they will do in the permanent constitution, we want marriageable age to be in our coming permanent constitution and also we want all our rights to be in the constitution because women of South Sudan are affected by traditions and norms of our people, we want all these issues to be in our constitution,” Margret lamented.

She also appealed for the inclusion of family laws into be the constitution and especially the on the issue of inheritance.

“We have widows in this country, sometimes, we have a problem when the husband died, woman have some problem with the relative especially brother’s husband, we want the issue of heritance to be clear in the constitution,” she urged.

“We want the marriageable age to be at least 18 years above and the girl has to complete her academic distinction specially university level from there, she would be ready for marriage anytime, we need to encourage our people to know the important of girls in the society, we need to educate them to be responsible for the future of this country.

The lawmaker however hinted that there are a lot of female graduate who are not married this because of dowry.

 “Dowry is a problem to our youth, as leaders of this country, we to have a forum to discuss the issue of dowry even to reduce a dowry cost into affordable level,” Margret further added.

She reiterated that, the issue of permanent constitution making process is a collective responsibility to all of them; members of parliament, and all stakeholders including civil society group, faith base group, adding that it is necessary to sensitize the people on issue of permanent constitution.

“We need to educate them, civic education on constitutional issues, also we need public consultation to take their view such that we will add them into permanent constitution making, we want every South Sudanese to see himself or herself in the permanent constitution, because it is ours, if you see article five(5) in the constitution of 2011 as amended, the resources of legislation in South Sudan is a tradition and cultures, is the will of the people of South Sudan than other relevant laws, is good to make our constitution according to our norms, according to our traditions such that we can be able to come with a good constitution which will govern us” Margret emphasized.

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