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South Sudanese women demand promotions, administrative roles in armed forces

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The women of South Sudan are demanding that they be promoted in the army, police, and other organised forces so that they can participate in administrative roles and the policy decision-making process.

Speaking during the opening of a two-day training on gender sensitivity for security sector reform organised by Charity AID Foundation in Wau on Monday, the Western Bahr el Ghazal State gender minister, Christina Gabriel Ali, said to end all forms of gender violence against women, they should be included at all levels of governance, including being promoted to high ranks to administer military institutions.

“Women, especially in the military, it appears that you cannot get women commanding or having a big rank. We want to see one day that a woman is in charge of the military Division 5 here in Grinti,” Minister Ali challenged.

“There should be a Major General woman who is commissioner of police here in the state. There are so many violations of gender rights. When a woman goes to deliver a child, that is the end of her, she is forgotten at work.”

She said that women participated and fought alongside men during the liberation struggle but have been forgotten and only their male counterparts are venerated as heroes.

Police Major Natalie Uguak, a participant in the training, said the workshop has educated them on gender roles in the rule of law and security sector reform.

“The training is talking about the security sector reform which falls within the mandate of the police. The reforms talk about transforming the security sector including all security actors and the roles and responsibly of everyone. This includes report writing, management, and operating systems in a democratic manner and sound principles of governance,” Maj. Uguak said,

He said the training will equip police investigators with knowledge on how to deal with crimes related to gender.

Meanwhile, the Charity AID Foundation Project coordinator, Sidney Koskey, said the aim of the training is to school and create awareness in the local community about gender issues and to promote positive gender norms to end all forms of violence against women and at the community and national level.

“The most important part of this training is that we want to ensure that the uniformed forces are informed, they understand about gender issues,” Koskey said.

The training facilitated by Charity AID Foundation is sponsored by UN Women and the government of the Netherlands to enhance the security sector reform process in South Sudan.

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