The head of the UNMISS Torit field office in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria State Caroline Waudo has urged female leaders across the state to move down to the grassroots to address the challenges facing their vulnerable colleagues.
Waudo said women, especially those at the grassroots level, have suffered in silence for a long time without knowing they have people who represent them and their voices in government.
She was speaking during the opening of a two-day workshop on empowering women leaders on good governance and gender sensitivity policies that will support sustainable peace and development for the communities being served.
Waudo said the workshop is to enhance skills and strategies of good governance at a time when the country prepares for elections.
“It serves as an eye-opener for women leaders to prepare and organize themselves for better leadership and good governance and a tool of organizing grassroots women in the state”, she said.
The UNMISS officer called on women leaders to go to communities and engage besides hearing concerns and challenges facing women at local levels.
“It is time for all stakeholders to work together. Leaders should double their efforts in gender equality in all aspects of peace and security agendas,” Waudo added.
Eastern Equatoria State Legislative Assembly Speaker Severino Maira Janus applauded the training and said it was a chance for female parliamentarians to attend some orientations
“Women are our mothers; they have to learn and after that, they give knowledge to children. So, women, we support you and we shall continue with supporting you. I would like to encourage you to be keen enough to listen to the training to get better skills and knowledge so when we return with the second session, we shall have well-informed people”, Janus said.
He added that “Because we have problems, especially in parliamentary proceedings there are people who have no knowledge but this is the beginning of learning. At least we shall have well-informed people serving one government and not serving parties. the revitalized peace agreement put all of us together and if at all any blame comes to me it will cover all of us, not one side”.
Meanwhile, Eastern Equatoria State governor Louis Lobong Lojore thanked UNMISS for organizing the workshop and urged women to know their roles in politics.
“I know women are capable and quick to learn, we have seen women in political positions they are efficient, and also less corrupt compared to us men,” he said.
“To all women, we know you are hardworking people. I need women to learn something good that will help the community and South Sudan. Upgrade your knowledge to help you in your own work,” Lobong added.
“Our beliefs and culture in Africa and South Sudan, in particular, have put all of us behind, and these cultures some of them are good and bad. I want our women to take some good cultures from the west but not all because some western cultures are not good. Our concept always is that what the white people do is right but they do wrong things”, he added.