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Zenab Osman, the Executive Director for Women and Youth Empowerment Initiative.

Women activists hope elections will have positive transformation in South Sudan

Women civil society activists are rooting for the upcoming elections at the end of the extended transitional period hoping that the process will transform the country’s fortunes after years of political upheaval.

 Zenab Osman, the Executive Director for Women and Youth Empowerment Initiative, said elections are very critical to transition the country from political instability toward sustainable peace and development.

“The transitional period of 36 months passed and the extension was made. This roadmap is something we are really looking forward to, this country needs general elections, without general elections so many things will never come into place,” Osman told The Juba Echo in an interview in Juba on Tuesday.

Osman was among several women leaders at the just concluded workshop that discussed the implementation status of the 2018 revitalized peace agreement organized by R-JMEC and CTSAMVM.

“We need to select leaders that are of our choice; maybe new leaders will come with new ideas. We urge our leaders to be very sensible and also think about us as women of South Sudan,” he said.

Mary Hezekiah, the Deputy Chairperson for South Sudan Women with Disability Network called for empowering of women through education to enable them to participate in governance.

 “We need to have a role, we need empowerment through education, women should participate in leadership and in the upcoming elections,” Hezekiah said.

Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director for Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) said women need to be involved in political decision-making process, adding that the 35 percent women representation has not been implemented fully.

“35 percent representation for women is below expectations, we have seen Angelina Teny, the defense minister is no longer there and by then the ministry of foreign affairs was taken from women,” Yakani said.

Angelina Teny, the wife of First Vice President Riek Machar was relieved from her position last week by President Salva Kiir amid protest by her party Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in opposition.

Under the 2018 revitalized peace deal, women are entitled to 35 percent of positions in both the national and state governments.

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