Editorial, Gadgets

Initiators and funders of the South Sudan Women Social and Economic Empowerment Project have touched the right pivot of development in the country.

The $70 million International Development Association (IDA) grant approved by the World Bank is a long-awaited uplifting opportunity for women in the country, as long as the objectives are not interrupted by other factors.

As well spelled, the grant is meant to boost the socio-economic empowerment of women in South Sudan.

Supporting female entrepreneurs in formalizing and scaling up their business activities is a key and well-perceived objective.

It’s a common knowledge that wealth in the hands of a mother (a woman) is wealth for all (the entire family), but that in the hands of a man, much of it drops on the way. Hence, empowering women in a country economically enriches the entire nation.

Literarily, once a mother gets money, images of the family’s welfare are first in her mind. As such, empowering women socially and economically is the right step towards creating a wealthy nation.

Empowering women is essential to the health and social development of families, communities and countries. When women live safe, fulfilled, and productive lives, they can reach their full potential, contribute their skills to the workforce and raise happier and healthier children.

The history of our nation has written the fate of the women in the country on the wall. Owing to decades of conflict, women and children have been the top victims. Many need psychological attention and healing or recovery.

Culturally, negative norms have subjected the women to various sorts of gender-based violence (GBV), with the men referring to them as “mara sakit”, belittling even their own mothers, who breastfed and labored for their upbringing.

But for women to have a sense of self-worth, the ability to determine their own choices, and the right to influence social change for themselves and others, men need to be sensitized.

Recently, a father prickled out the eyes of his daughter for refusing to marry a suitor of his choice. If only this man had known and respected the rights of the girl in taking the decision to marry and making her choice, such cases wouldn’t have occurred, but as yet, many are bound to manifest with time.

Most African cultures hold a woman “captive” of a man “the captor”. Unless enlightened, the man will view the empowerment of the woman as a threat and therefore seek ways of disrupting her progress.

Picking a leaf from others, a woman from one of the neighboring countries, her last mother, took off for refugee status in another country after a dispute with her husband when she received cash from a government program meant to empower the poor. A brother of the woman was butchered to death instead.

Let the Ministry of Gender, Child, and Social Welfare and UNWOMEN, including “awareness creation” for “the captor” as a component of SSWSEEP, avoid disruption in this prestigious program.


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