Sudan: South adopts gender policy for the region
Posted by African Press International on June 18, 2008
Juba (Sudan) ? The autonomous Government of Southern Sudan on Friday passed a Gender Policy for the region to address issues of inequality related to gender.
Presented by the Minister of Gender, Social Welfare and Religious Affairs, Mary Kiden Kimbo, the document highlighted gender issues in relations to girl-child education, maternity health care, poverty, food security, access to land, gender-based violence and decision-making in public and family affairs.
In defense of the document, Minister Kiden argued that there was need for a gender policy framework to reverse history of discrimination against women in Southern Sudan particularly by cultural and customary norms of life that ?dehumanize and subordinate? women in public and family life.
The document discourages early marriages of young girls and promotes easy access to education by girl-child. It also calls for giving special consideration to establishing maternity health care centers up to the Buma (local) level of governance in order to avoid numerous deaths of women during child delivery in the region.
While praising the SPLM Chairman Salva Kiir Mayardit for his commitment to fulfill the 25% allocated to women in accordance with the provision in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the document calls for establishment of special programs that would empower women to create enabling environment and potential for them to qualify in occupying such allocations.
?Gender equality cannot be achieved without women empowerment,? argued the Gender Affairs Minister Mary Kiden, adding that women have only occupied an average of 18% out of the 25% allocation per the CPA.
Minister Kiden however commended certain state governments in the South for fulfilling the allocation and sometimes exceedingly up to 30%, which she said was the universal agreed upon percentage of special allocation for women.
After it was passed by the Council of Ministers under the chairmanship of the region?s President Salva Kiir Mayardit, the Gender Policy document will then be presented to the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) for final endorsement before it comes into effect.
API.source.Sudan Tribune, by James Gatdet Dak