Low Women Turnout In Rumbek Township in Sudan

Registration for the January referendum in the rural areas in Rumbek have been marked by low turnout of female voters as the exercise entered the third day today.

However, more male voters continued to register at various centres with the numbers increasing by the day.

A spot check by Gurtong at Matangai, Achol-theen, Malual-bab and Rumbek Freedom Square registration centres revealed more men registering than women.

A voter at Matangai center Victoria Alek confirmed the low turnout by women and urged her fellow women to register despite the distances they have to cover from their homes.

“It is true that women have a lot of things to attend to at home but the referendum needs our full participation as we seek to determine the future of South Sudan”, said Alek.

There were longer queues at Malual Bab centre located at Rumbek Freedom Square although the men outnumbered women.

A student at Southern Sudan Institute of Education in Rumbek Anthony Makuach expressed joy at getting the registration card, saying he will take great care of it as his entire life depended on it.

“This is my card for voting in the referendum and I am very happy to see our freedom coming. Our people will be free from corner to corner and I will take care of this registration card until I vote for an independent South Sudan”, he said.

A supervisor at Matangai registration centre Peter Mour Anyar attributed the low turnout of women to inadequate civic education.

“There has been minimal use of the mass media since many people do not own radio sets. I urge the government to mount sound systems on vehicles to spread the referendum registration message in the villages”, he said.

Lakes State has 215 registration centers where registration of voters is expected to proceed smoothly up to December 1.

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