By Juuk Othana Mading/ Jonglei, Mabor Riak/Rumbek
The day was marked under the State theme “Together we can empower women and girls in Jonglei to take their rightful places in South Sudan,” with calls to step it up for gender equality in Jonglei.
While speaking during the occasion, the State Governor of Jonglei, Col. Philip Aguer
Panyang acknowledged the day as significant to all women.
“I have to pay a special tribute to the spirit of Mrs. Ageer Gum and to the spirits of all women of South Sudan who have struggled in Anyanya one and in the SPLA until today”, he said.
Aguer appealed to partners and authorities to eradicate illiteracy among women.
“The only way to promote women and equality is through education. We have to make sure that we eradicate illiteracy among the women because I know that our girls are in schools but there are still adults both women and men who are illiterate.”
The State Minister of Education, Gender, Child and Social Welfare, Suzan Lith encouraged all women to support each other.
“For all women who have attended this day we are happy for them because they have honoured our day. Remember the dignity of your womanhood; take courage, join hands and stand beside each other” Suzan said.
On his part the Commissioner of Bor County, Isaac Mamer Ruk appreciated the people of Jonglei State for attending the International Women’s Day celebration in the State capital, Bor.
“It is good to mark the Women’s Day together as a family. It will promote gender equality in our community and I want to urge the people to go and implement the principles of women rights in their localities”, he said.
Ruk said the government is committed to put the principles of gender balance into action.
He urged the UN agencies, NGOs and partners in Jonglei State to concentrate on women developmental projects as the country is on the transformation process.
The Chairperson for Jonglei Women Association, Suzan Achuei acknowledged the role of women especially South Sudanese women in the struggle of South Sudan since 1983.
Achuei said the women in Jonglei are for peace and unity not only in the State but countrywide.
“Women in Jonglei are women for peace, unity and love. We women we didn’t kill ourselves during this senseless war of December 15th. We want our women in POCs to come out and see how we are united outside here. Let them not fear because we are one. Men were the ones who killed themselves and also killed women”, she said.
She called for peaceful co-existence among women.
Meanwhile, in Rumbek the three Governors of Western Lakes State, Eastern Lakes State and Gok State all came together t o celebrate the day.
The Governor of Western Lakes State, Abraham Makoi while adressing the public called on members of the international organisations operating in the State to respect the norms and cultures of the people.
On his part the Governor of Eastern Lakes State, Rin Tueny Mabor said that the government will give full support to women in the State.
Rin Tueny said that the government of Eastern Lakes State has appointed two female Ministers in the cabinet.
He appreciated the move taken by his counterpart Governor of Western Lakes State for appointing a female as the Deputy Governor of Western Lakes State.
The Gok State Governor, Madhang Majok Meen said women should play a significant role in providing stability to the States.
International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
The 2016 theme for International Women’s Day is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”.