Women from around the world support the appeal of South Sudanese women and call for the appointment of High Level Gender Advisors to the SouthSudan peace process
We the undersigned women’s organizations from around the world, support the appeal of South Sudanese women and express our deep concern over the absence of High Level Gender Advisors to the South Sudan peace process in Addis Ababa facilitated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). We stress that women should not be viewed solely as victims of the conflict. Women should have a role as leaders in the peace process to ensure a gender dimension in the negotiations, as mandated by the UN
Security Council Resolutions 1325, 1889, and 2122. As is evident in a number of cases, women bring in a unique and important perspective in peace negotiations and in the ensuing peace agreements. For example, in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, signed by the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the women negotiators successfully argued for the inclusion of a provision on the use of public funds for gender specific development programs and activities.
We greatly appreciate IGAD’s commitment to the implementation of regional and international policy andates that focus on gender equality and the empowerment of women, such as the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA), Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the UN Security Council Resolution 1325. These frameworks explicitly call for direct participation of women in the peace processes and political processes.
The inclusion of High Level Gender Advisors to the peace talks and the full integration of a gender erspective in the peaceagreement is in line with the above regional and international policies. For this reason, it is imperative to appoint a full-time, High Level Gender Advisor for the mediation team, as well as independent High Level Gender Advisors for the two warring parties (GRSS and SPLM/A IO).
For the aforementioned reasons, we stand in support of all South Sudanese women’s groups and civil society organizations and call for:
1) A High Level Gender Advisor for the mediation team;
2) Independent High Level Gender Advisors for both warring parties;
We urge the government of the Republic of South Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/ Army in opposition to genuinely commit to acomprehensive and inclusive resolution to the conflict in South Sudan through dialogue.
The eyes of the world are on the conflict in South Sudan. Much has been done in the past decade to further women’s leadership. Ensure women are part of the solution for South Sudan.