Machar challenges women on claiming gender parity

By Mary Poni

The First Vice President of the Republic and chair of the governance cluster Dr. Riek Machar Teny has challenged South Sudanese women for failing to claim their space in the gender affirmative action in the Country.

Dr. Riek criticized the South Sudanese women during the closing of the three days international conference on women’s transformational leadership under the theme “Guwa Ta Mara”- “Strength of a Woman” held in Juba.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit who officially opened the international women conference on Monday promised the women 50/50 gender parity in the Country.

Dr. Riek Machar however slammed the women for agitating and crying for meaningful gender representation in public and private entities and decision-making organs of the government, yet they do little or nothing to claim for that.

He questioned whether there is a meaningful association of women union in the country that can empower women and help push for their agenda to the higher offices for consideration.

The FVP argued that though women during the international conference for women transformational leadership were trying to defend themselves and challenged his doubts, he had already confirmed that no women union exist or was developed.

“If there is a Women Union, they should have been knocking at the doors of the vice presidents, ministers, the governors, the state ministers and the commissioners because women union is nonpolitical,” he echoed.

Dr. Riek said that the union is the one driving to making a lot of programs and sending of messages to the ministry, to the office of the vice president and to the government.

“You seem to think you do have (women Union) but if you do have, I could have known who the chair of the women union is. I want to underline the difference between parties organizations and women union therefore, the two institutions are not the same and all parties have women list,” he lamented.

He explained that the parties’ organizations are political and they propagate within their party members about the agender of women nationwide and women union is always supported by government because it is more of youth union which has got no connection to politics.

“The youth union is also noon political and it is supported by the government. the peace agreement singled out these two groups. We still have to enact the legislation for women enterprise development fund,” he underscored.

“If you don’t have a women union, you will have difficulties in influencing the legislation, so we need to do something about that as well as the same with the youth enterprise fund that will support activities of women and youth” Machar encouraged.

The First Vice President highlighted that as VP Rebecca Nyandeng said she knows how to lobby for money and she called it “begging”, such organs will support her so it is important for the women leaders to think about it and he hopes it is included in the resolutions.

“It could have been a good forum if you thought about it over in advance because most of our leaders are women in the country and this is one of your strengths which is “GuwaTa Mara”,” Dr. Riek Machar said.

“I am impressed by the fact that from the invitees, you managed to invited about four former presidents from across the globe,” he said.

Dr. Riek Machar related the struggle of the two countries, Mauritius and Liberia being ruled by women, noting that it is a clear noble of strength to women not only in South Sudan but globally.

“Meaning many among us will say it is not time for us to be in this position whether the minister, governor or president but this is not true nor right because it is the weakness in our political organizations,” he stated.

“If we are politically organized, there would be no difference between a woman and a man to holding a key position. Taking interest in popular organizations as I know many of you have taken up the challenge and the civil societies but they are still few,” Dr. Riek said.

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