This article was last updated on May 25, 2022
SSWGA Chairperson, Sarah Awel James recommended the draft text of the National Constitutional Review Commission to restrict and define the marriage age to a minimum of 18 years.
She said that the maternal and health facilities that specifically take care of women’s health needs should be provided for by the government at the Boma level.
“The right of food to all citizens, a woman’s right to own property as well as inherit property from the family as well as in marriage, increase in women participation to 50 percent representation in all government positions,” she said.
They recommended the approval of affirmative action to bridge the gender disparities between men and women and penalize gender based violence as a capital offence with a minimum sentence of 14 years as is the case with rape under the penal code act 2008.
The Interim Constitution guarantees 25 percent for women participation in the government but given the level of education for women in the country, the percentage is not achieved.
“Listen, the 25 per cent was given to South Sudanese women who did not go to school. They are to fill any post and must learn in the process. This excludes women who are educated. So, once a woman is educated she must fight for the 75 percent, so questioning the level of education for women under the 25 percent is not right,” Aguil De Chuot, an activist said.
A civil activist representing Greater Equatoria, Jane Kani Gordon Soro said the implementation of such action makes women to ask on when the 25 percent will trickle down to them in the villages.
‘In our villages most of the women are still waiting for the 25 per cent which according to them was money which will be given to them directly. Now, calling on them to understand the constitution is a hard duty for them,” said Kani.
Meanwhile, Phoebe Vana, a Member of Parliament in Central Equatoria Legislative Assembly urged the NCRC to translate the final constitution in to local languages for the benefit of the masses.
“South Sudanese in the villages want the constitution translated in their various languages, if the government wants the people to understand the constitution like the Holy Bible,” Vana said.
The women agreed to unite in their ranks and became a single block if they are to achieve their goals and objectives.