South Sudan

Hilde: S.Sudanese Women Are Backbone of Nation

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viagra 40mg http://corcoranproductions.com/wp-admin/includes/media.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Speaking to Radio Miraya ahead of International Women’s Day, approved http://cheesejaguar.com/wp-content/plugins/contact-form-7/modules/acceptance.php which is observed on March 8, annually, UNMISS chief Hilde F. Johnson said women were “the backbone of South Sudanese communities throughout the civil war”.


“They deserve to be honoured, empowered and to have very strong political positions,” she said.


“That is why International Women’s Day is important in South Sudan so that these new strides can be made.”


The SRSG said one of the biggest challenges facing women in South Sudan was lack of education, which she described as one of the most important tools for empowerment.


“It really pains me that 86 per cent of women and girls in South Sudan cannot read and write,” she said. “It not only undermines them individually, it undermines the country.”


The UNMISS chief said educating women and girls would have far-reaching effects in other areas like health and income-generation. She also decried high maternal mortality rates in South Sudan, noting that a woman was more likely to die during childbirth than to complete secondary education.


The current crisis had affected women and children most, she said, adding that about 80 per cent of civilians seeking shelter in UNMISS bases around the country were from this category.


“We know that many of them have been subject to sexual violence during this conflict,” said Ms. Johnson. “It is an experience no woman should (go through)”.


According to Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare Undersecretary Esther Ikere, the country was going to focus on displaced women on International Women’s Day this year.


“We are celebrating in a special way this year owing to the recent crisis that has led to displacement of many women and children,” she said.


“This has increased women’s vulnerability, even in stable states.”


Ms. Ikere said representatives from her ministry would visit women living in displaced people’s camps in Nimule in Eastern Equatoria State, Awerial in Lakes State and Twic in Warrap State and provide some food and psychosocial support.


She noted that, although South Sudan had been “off-track” on many millennium development goals even before the crisis, the country had been set back even further, including on goals that specifically affect women.


She said it was vital to achieve peace to get back on track and that women would play a big role in the peace-building process.


(UNMISS)

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