16th July 2024
Make a Donation

Activist calls for evaluation of women quota

Author: Koang Pal Chang | Published: Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Sarah Nyanath Yong, the Executive Director of Gender Empowerment for South Sudan Organisation is one of the signatories to the 2018 peace agreement - Photo Courtesy of the Office of the President

A civil society activist has called for a comprehensive evaluation of the 35% women quota in leadership and decision-making roles at all levels.

Sarah Nyanath Yong, the Executive Director of Gender Empowerment for South Sudan Organisation is one of the signatories to the 2018 peace agreement.

In a statement to Eye Radio newsroom, the activist pointed out that empowering women within the framework of the R-ARCSS requires more than a quota.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to gender equality and inclusivity, and at the capacity of being one of the stakeholders’ signatories to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS), ¬†GESSO calls for a comprehensive revaluation of the 35% women quota in leadership and decision-making roles at all levels,” Nyanath said.

Nyanath says the 35% women quota outlined in the R-ARCSS represents a vital step towards narrowing the gender parity gap and promoting women’s involvement in governance.

She says, however, that the current implementation framework lacks mechanisms to ensure women’s independence and effective participation at decision-making and planning levels.

“This shortfall has led to the appropriation of the quota by male-led political parties, reducing women’s roles to mere extensions of existing political agendas rather than advocates for women’s specific issues.”

She called on stakeholders to work together to ensure women’s quota is meaningful.

“It necessitates structural changes that promote independent agency, accountability, and true representation. Let us work collectively to ensure that the 35% women quota becomes a meaningful vehicle for women’s empowerment in South Sudan.”

The activist suggested that the Tumaini Peace Initiative can play a pivotal role in reviewing and strengthening this provision.

According to her, this can be done by engaging all political stakeholders and emphasizing the inclusion of women in decision-making processes, Tumaini can help reshape the quota into a tool for genuine empowerment, not merely a recruitment strategy for male-led political parties.

Nyanath says the outcome of the review should provide an enabling tool that can create an environment where are encouraged and supported to form and lead political parties, thereby increasing their representation and influence in the political arena.

The activist highlighted some of the key challenges facing the implementation of the 35% women’s quota.

These include; the lack of Independence where women appointed through political parties often represent party interests over gender-specific concerns.

She cited accountability as a challenge saying these women are accountable to their parties, not to the broader women’s constituency, undermining genuine representation.

In a statement, Nyanath added that decision-making power is also another challenge in the implementation of the women’s quota.

She that the quota does not place women in substantive decision-making roles, limiting their impact on critical policy issues.

In a call to action, the activist called for a comprehensive review of the R-ARCSS to establish a reinforcing framework for the 35% quota, ensuring independent utilization, saying empower women to utilize the quota independently, without male-led political party constraints.

Nyanath stated direct representation is a way to go, adding that this is one of the mechanisms that allow women to represent women’s interests directly, ensuring accountability to their constituencies.

She said decision-making roles should be addressed by placing women at the forefront of decision-making processes to advocate effectively for gender-specific policies.

Support Eye Radio, the first independent radio broadcaster of news, information & entertainment in South Sudan.

Make a monthly or a one off contribution.

error: Alert: Content is protected !!