State Governments Stepping Up Fight Against GBV

This article was last updated on May 27, 2022

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With support from Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF), Health Link South Sudan (HLSS) has been teaming up with two state governments of Eastern Equatoria and Lakes respectively, to step up efforts against the commonly practised Gender Based Violence (GBV) among South Sudanese communities, officials have revealed.

A total of 523 stakeholders in case management and prevention of Gender Based Violence (GBV) have been trained in Eastern Equatoria and Lakes states from 17, 10 – 3, 11, 2014. 

The on-going training targets the GBV frontline personnel in case management and prevention. 

“We have trained over 500 key stakeholders in case management of GBV,” said Dorcas Acen, HLSS’ GBV coordinator. “These trainees include health workers, police, wildlife, army, and prisons officials, chiefs, social workers, youth and women group leaders, teachers and a few staff of the state ministries of Gender.” 

The GBV coordinator confirmed that the organization is establishing a one-stop centre in Torit civil hospitalwhere GBV victims shall always be accessing emergency medical services such as post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), emergency contraceptives, and Hepatitis B vaccination as well as counselling services.

The EES Director General in the ministry of Gender, Culture and Social Development, Rev. Johnson Sebit, hailed HLSS for the training but quickly asked for more in order to eradicate GBV in the state.  

“This kind of double training on GBV and life skills of three different groups for three days each and for nine consecutive days by HLSS has never happened before in EES,” said Rev. Sebit at the closure of training in Torit. “I am very happy and optimistic of what HLSS has done in; but we need more to be done at Payam level.” 

He also condemned girl-child compensation practice and called for an immediate end to it. (See below about “girl-child compensation” practice in Eastern Equatoria State)* 

Girl-child compensation (in EES), rape, and domestic violence, early marriage and forced marriages are very common forms of GBV in the country. 

HLSS has since stepped up efforts to reduce the vice through training, increasing awareness, empowering and building the capacity of the frontline social respondents in the two states ahead of the 16 days of activism against GBV from November 25 to December 10 this year. 

The HLSS’ coordinator told the media that the trainees’ representatives, both in Torit and Cueibet in Lakes State, expressed delight in the training and pledged to share the knowledge acquired; but asked for more trainings at Payam levels.

He appealed to both participants to “help extend the messages of GBV prevention to their homes, villages and the cattle camps,” Acen appealed to the trainees at the closure of the training on Monday. 

He added, “I have seen here that when women were given opportunity to speak, men were booing them but I have to tell you, times have changed. Women can speak as much as they want. We are in modern timeswhere men and women should live in harmony, love and respect each other’s opinions”. 

HLSS is a National Non-Governmental Organisation, currently operating in the states of Central and Eastern Equatoria and Lakes in areas of health and humanitarian assistance. 

*Girl-Child compensation” means a female child is customarily given as compensation by her parents to settle a dispute in which a member of the girl’s family had killed a member of the family receiving the female child. The practice used to be done by most Eastern Equatoria State communities; but presently many, except the Lotuka ethnic community, have abandoned the practice. The latest efforts by the HLSS, in collaboration with the government, are to reverse the practice. Most communities, whom Gurtong has contacted, have overwhelmingly welcomed the new call to discard the practice and live up to the international human rights practices.

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