Yang Ater Yang
A two-day workshop organized by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to empower Lakes State stakeholders on responsive governance and women’s Rights concluded in Rumbek on Wednesday.
The workshop brought together 50 participants, including lawmakers, executives, women, youth, and civil society representatives, to discuss gender-responsive governance.
Speakers at the discussion emphasized the crucial role women play in development and called for their increased participation in leadership positions and decision-making processes.
The 35% affirmative action for women in government was highlighted as a key target.
The workshop focused on leadership skills, communication techniques, and understanding cultural norms that hinder progress. Participants actively engaged in discussions and proposed recommendations for further action.
The workshop also emphasized the need for collaboration between different stakeholders, including government, civil society, and communities. And participants called for continued support from UNMISS in implementing their recommendations.
Agum Jacob Chagai, the Speaker of the Lakes State reconstituted transitional legislative assembly praised the workshop as informative and beneficial, highlighting its focus on gender equality and affirmative action.
He urged the government to implement the workshop recommendation.
“This workshop brought everyone on board, both men, women, and youths. We need the government to implement the 35% affirmative action and address issues like street children and women’s market access” Chagai urged.
He further emphasized the importance of free and fair elections with women’s participation.
For her part Rose Lisok Paolina, facilitator of the workshop explained that the workshop aims to empower participants on gender responsiveness and their roles.
She commended the high participation and collaboration, especially from parliamentarians and executives and Suggested replicating the workshop at the grassroots level and extending its duration.
“The participatory approach was very high. We hope UNMISS will continue working with them and replicate these workshops at the grassroots level” she stated.
Samuel Dut Madit an SPLM-IO lawmaker advocated for supporting women’s rights and leadership, emphasizing their equal rights and contributions.
He encouraged girls’ education and collective responsibility for South Sudan’s progress.
“We are happy to stand with our women. Let’s support women, take girls to school, and accord them their rights. This country needs collective responsibility” Dut advocated.
Meanwhile, Lakes State Minister of Gender and Child Social Welfare, Angelina Ding Mario, discussed the workshop’s focus on women’s representation, lobbying, grassroots support, and leadership development.
She emphasized unity and collaboration between men and women for success.
“We, the women, need to support ourselves. We need to encourage others to join leadership and participate in upcoming elections” Ding advised her fellow women.
Adama Njie, UNMISS gender officer explained the workshop’s focus on responsive leadership, communication, and inclusivity.
He highlighted the workshop’s success in two languages, with valuable recommendations for implementation.
“The workshop aimed to equip leaders with necessary tools and communication techniques. It was very participatory, conducted in both English and Arabic. A key message is for leaders to listen to the community and get their advice” Njie stated.
He underscored the importance of women’s participation in upcoming elections, both as voters and candidates.
Generally the UNMISS workshop served as a valuable platform for promoting gender-responsive governance, empowering women, and fostering collaboration for a more inclusive and developed Lakes State.