Women As Competent As Men If Not More In South Sudan
"What do you think of all women on both sides of the conflict if they were
assigned a role to negotiate the south Sudan peace deal between the
government and SPLM-IO?...peace would have been achieved in the early 2014."
16 September 2016

 *By Ustaz Abraham Mabior Rioc.*

Throughout the world history, women have been marginalized and oppressed
(still are today) by men because of their weaker position as disadvantaged
minority in the society. Many people consider women as sex objects who are
only kept to carry out home responsibilities rather than national duties.
>From some community perspectives, women have no rights to own property or
speak out their minds for the things that matter a lot in a society.

The underestimation of the importance, competency, and capability of south
Sudanese women has been taken for granted and nobody seems to care more
about them. The fact is, some men do not care much about the welfare of
their women (including girls) simply because they are ignorant of them as
people with great contribution in the community and treat them as minor
personalities with minor roles to play in the social and political arenas.

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 2),
everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this
Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex,
language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin,
property, birth or other status. This Human Rights declaration is
universally applicable to every member of human society living as part and
parcel of humankind in the male-dominated world. The law implies that all
women including girls should be treated equally along their male
counterparts since they have the same sense and feelings of belonging to
the human race.

In this context, men should be mindful and respectful of women in their
capacities as dutiful mothers and wives in this planet. In fact, women have
thousand roles to play both at homes, in schools, hospitals, business
centers, government and private institutions just to mention a few.  In
reality, women are full-time controllers of home affairs, effective
managers, child-caregivers, security personnel of their husbands and
children, nation peacemakers, non-warmongers, democracy and human rights
promoters, as well as being resourceful citizens taken away in exchange of
wealth in form of bride price. In this spirit, women must enjoy the same
equal status in society both in the political, social, and economic spheres
of life.

It would be sensible if the country’s leadership should do something
tangible on the grounds for women to be fully absorbed in the public and
private fields so as to upgrade their leadership positions.

Furthermore, women are culturally-oriented entities who are always
observant of the importance of the cultural identities within and outside
the society. In many aspects, cultures are the ways of life of people and
all members of the society are obligatorily obliged to observe them on
daily basis.

However, men sometimes become reluctant and women in this context remind
their children about the roles and to make sure that children strictly
follow the norms and traditions set up by a given society. Equally, women
groom and orient their daughters into responsible members of the society.
Even a woman who is a minister in the government or state cabinet can still
come back home after work and present herself as mother and wife in the
house.

Conversely, women are real peace makers in the wider community because of
their humility, patience, and meekness. For instance, it takes a woman to
carry a child for nine months in order to see the face of her beloved child
once it is born. What do you think of all women on both sides of the
conflict if they were assigned a role to negotiate the south Sudan peace
deal between the government and SPLM-IO? To me, the answer is simple, and
would conclude that the peace would have been achieved in the early 2014.
The reason being is that women are always very concerned and compassionate
about the suffering and hardships the humankind goes through.

Having witnessed the level of destruction the country has gone through,
still is, they would have felt sorry for the destruction of both human and
material resources on both sides of the conflict. In this essence, they
would have been very much bothered about the wellbeing of their sons and
daughters who are dying as a result of war and other crisis associated
consequences.

To remind you the important roles women can play in both political,
economic, and social lives, here find the typical examples of some women
who turned out to be national and international figures in the academic and
political circles. Briefly, let look at some of the achievements of Dr.
Julia Aker, the former undersecretary of the Ministry of Parliamentarian
Affairs and now the current Vice Chancellor of Dr. John Garang Memorial
University.

In her capacity as an educated woman, Dr. Julia Aker came up with a project
aims at sponsoring women for masters’ Degree at Indiana University for the
first batch and currently the second batch is pursuing its studies at the
University of Juba. Being an educated woman gave her a better chance to put
into use her ideas and convince donors and the well-wishers to fund her
project for the benefit and the good of her common south Sudanese.  The
United States Agencies for International Development (USAID) in this case
could not waste its time but took the initiative seriously and funded it
with millions of dollars in an attempt to promote women position and
leadership in the developing countries including South Sudan.

However, no man has either done that or willing to do it. The products or
graduates of the first batch of her project are now lecturers in public
Universities here in South Sudan serving thousands of students, while
others are serving the government in various departments.

Meanwhile, the second batch is striving seriously at the University of Juba
under the same program to finish their master’s program successfully so
that they are soon absorbed to serve their people as teachers, lecturers or
education officers. Look, this is just an idea from one woman and if all
south Sudanese women are educated, I am sure South Sudan would have been at
different levels of human resource and economic development. This is what I
can call an enormous achievement designed by one woman and is now realized
as an important idea which is beneficial for all South Sudanese as far as
eradication of illiteracy and promotion of women leadership are concerned.

Additionally, there are other educated women elites who are performing well
both in the private and public sectors. The typical examples in the public
domains include the current Acting SPLM Secretary General who doubles as
Minister of Wildlife Conversation and Tourism, Cde Jemma Nunu Kumba and Cde
Awut Deng Achuil, Minister of Gender, Child, and Social Welfare are part of
the important national figures who are rendering unequivocally quality
services to their people.

On the same vein, among women educated elites are Dr. Anne Itto, the
current Presidential Advisor for Agriculture and Hon. Rebecca Joshua
Okwachi, the Minister of Roads and Bridges as well as Hon. Nadia Arop Dudi,
minister of Culture, Youth, and Sports are also doing greatly in their
different assignments and are ready to offer services diligently to their
fellow South Sudanese.

In the same note, Hon. Mary Jervase Yak, Deputy Minister for Finance and
Economic Planning as well as Hon. Betty Achan Ogwaro, the former aspirant
Speaker and now Member Parliament are among committed personalities who
have served and still serving their own people well regardless of tribes,
gender, religion or political and cultural affiliations.

The above-mentioned are among hundreds of women who are fully committed to
serve their country and their people in good faith. Nobody would challenge
their capabilities and personalities in their various assignments and that
they do not discriminate against people of other nationalities because they
consider all people from all works of life as their own biological children.

In the African continent setting, the roles of women are always
underestimated in all the spheres of life, and is completely a different
case in South Sudan where women, particularly rural women, have no choice
of human and individual rights. This is because of the assumption that
women are weak in minds to make critical decisions in their lives. This is
not true and a person who has that assumption seems to be an isolated one
from this modern world of new discoveries of new ideas.

To understand how women think, first look how girls compete in the academic
lines with their male counterparts. Some girls even become brighter more
than boys in a context that sometimes boys consult them how to write
English compositions or sorting out arithmetic calculations including other
academic assignments.

In the family, a girl and her brother go to the same school and spend the
hours learning the same content. Nevertheless when they come back home, all
of them feel exhausted but still a girl can make it to the kitchen to
prepare meal for the family and brings it to the table for her siblings and
other family members to enjoy. This industriousness of a girl indicates
that women are as competent and capable as men in the wider community.
Nothing that men can do and women cannot do in this universe. It is just a
matter of the fact that God puts man in-charge of a woman at the time of
creation and that women have an obligatory duty to give birth to children.

Otherwise all human beings have the same and equal characteristics and
competencies all over the world. What is needed most is the education and
training of both men and women by imparting to them both life-saving and
life-enhancing information so that they can contribute to the economic and
political development of their country. By considering the dutiful roles
the south Sudanese women carry out, one would conclude that women are as
capable and competent as men and the government and well-wishers should
protect their rights and consider equal representation with equal pay both
in the political and economic spheres of life.

*The writer is a student of Master’s Degree in Education at the University
of Juba and can be reached via mabiorr...@gmail.com <mabiorr...@gmail.com>*
- See more at:
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