Kiir promises 50/50 gender parity for women

By Mary Poni

President Salva Kiir Mayardit has promised to allow women favorably compete for the remaining 65% affirmative action plan to attain a 50/50 working relationship between women and men, though the 35% affirmative action for women is yet to be fully implemented as agreed. 

He made the pledge in his opening remarks during the International Conference on Women’s Transformational Leadership yesterday in Juba under the theme “Guwa Ta Mara” which is loosely translated as “Strength of a Woman”.

“While we have not fully made the quota of the affirmative action plan of the 35% of women participation, we will work to fulfill and allow our women to compete within the remaining 65%. This will surely put women in the areas of decision making at all levels of our government” the President promised.

“As we continue to implement the peace agreement, I will make sure my government empower women countrywide. Today I call on you the women of this country to know your values and serve your country, and I assure you of freedom of women rights” he continued.

President Kiir said his government is providing women with opportunities to develop their skills in order to compete in the labour markets in both business and public sectors.

“While we are progressing and advancing in women empowerment, our work still needs to be finished, let us keep working towards a better day for women and girls. Let us join hands to promote the mission for gender equality and engage in active support to be champions in this effort” he encouraged.

As the government prepares to implement the final phase of the revitalized peace agreement, Kiir said he will make sure that his government continues to address challenges faced by women by working hard to empower them across the country.

He promised to work closely with all the actors to ensure that an agenda of women empowerment is achieved.

President Kiir said if women are empowered, it will enable them to know their potentials in leadership citing roles women played during the liberation struggle.

“The protection of Women’s rights is important to us in the government and that is why we have developed policies and implemented programs that ensured the execution of this agenda” he said.

“Our country cannot afford GBV, GBD and that hinders peace and development. We have nurtured women leaders in the country who are incredibly working forward for the realization of gender equality and women empowerment” Kiir noted.

The President urged South Sudanese women to collectively work hand in hand with the government to address the challenges women are facing by seeing their selves first as champions of unity in the country.

“Today, I call on you the women of this country to know your value and to know what you want in life, use your talents to serve your country and do the right things” he said.

“As your President, I will continue to call on all our political parties in the agreement to prioritize delivery of development, building capacity and ensure freedom of human rights for women and girls” he assured.

He said they need to provide more opportunities to educate women and girls to develop their skills through professional and vocational trainings and support them in business.

“I encourage you to use your voices and inspire our next generation of women leaders to support peace, unity and equal opportunity for all,” he underscored.

President Kiir urged women leaders at the national and state levels of government, civil society and the private sector to champion gender equality and women empowerment.

He as well assured the women that his government will support women and deliver success in addressing their needs and giving them the right conditions and environment to flourish and prosper.

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