Calls To End Gender-Based Violence Dominate 16 Days Of Activism

This article was last updated on May 25, 2022

McMinn was speaking at Torit Freedom Square during the celebrations to mark the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence in Eastern Equatoria State.

The 16 days of activism present an opportunity for all women, girls, boys and men to advocate and peacefully raise a collective voice against all forms of violence against women.

In South Sudan, at least four out of ten women have experienced one or more forms of violence, with many more cases going unreported. Displacements due to conflict and natural disasters, coupled with high levels of food insecurity, exacerbate the incidence of gender-based violence across the country.

Alarmingly, studies show that 8 out of 10 South Sudanese seem to have tolerance for violence against women.

Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) calls for a greater respect for the rights of women and girls, urging countries to take measures to protect them from gender based violence, and to support their participation in peace negotiations and post-conflict reconstruction.

The UN Security Council has, through its resolution 1960, also requested separate country level mechanisms to monitor and report on incidences of conflict related to sexual violence, both in South Sudan and in other countries.

 Ms. Lilian Bortel, Assistant Commissioner for Health said, “Gender based violence should be stopped and all those caught doing it must be held responsible and be brought to the book of justice.”

The acting Director General of the State Ministry of Social Development and Culture, Mr. Simon Auwas Pidomoe revealed that implementing his Ministry’s policy to end violence against vulnerable groups has been a challenge and he thanked the organisers of the event.

He urged fellow leaders to get organized and politically work together against gender-based violence.

Women and young girls around the world have continued to face early and forced marriage and the society tends to give education priority to boys.

 The UN family in South Sudan is committed to assisting with the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence and in putting the gender policy into practice that will lead to tangible results for women and girls in the country.

Through strong partnerships between government, NGOs and communities, prevention and response programs will be put in place that enhance the rights of women and girls and help them live free from the threat of violence.

Over 200 community health workers have been trained in the clinical management of rape and many communities have been reached through mobilization programmes to prevent violence, especially among the most vulnerable, such as internally displaced persons. 

The UN has also brought women together in community peace building forums at the state level to address indifference, inequality and impunity, which allow gender- based violence to continue.

As mandated by the Security Council and together with other partners, UNMISS is building the capacity of state level institutions to monitor, investigate and report incidents of conflict-related sexual violence. Through the active engagement of Women Protection Advisors, UNMISS is also reporting on such violations to the Security Council.

Millions of women and girls around the world are assaulted, beaten, raped, mutilated or even murdered in what constitutes appalling violations of their human rights.

All too often, perpetrators go unpunished. Women and girls are afraid to speak out because of a culture of impunity.

State Ministry of Social Development and Culture Director for Gender, Ms. Advigi Grato noted that the 16 days of activism provides an opportunity for activists to challenge perpetrators to stop practising violence at homes and also push their government apply the law in order to correct it saying our leaders and communities must rise up to protect our vulnerable population.

The Torit march started at the government secretariat offices through the market, high court office, SPLM Secretariat, Juba and the Prison office.

Several organizations working in the state were represented at the event.

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