On 21-23 February 2022 ACCORD, in partnership with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Office for the Special Envoy of South Sudan (IGAD OSESS) and UN WOMEN organized the 3rd Hybrid Strategic Workshop for South Sudanese women. This workshop was held under the theme, “South Sudanese Women’s Common Agenda in the Transitional Period” with an aim to initiate dialogue among the women politicians, activists and professionals for the purposes of unity and for the development of a common agenda towards meaningful participation during the transitional period. This workshop built on the outcomes and recommendation of the previous two workshops held in 2018 and 2019; and the remaining benchmark in the Revitalized Peace Agreement of South Sudan.
Ms. Alison Lazarus, facilitated the hybrid workshop, with participants convening in Juba, South Sudan. She took the participants through three days of comprehensive group work that resulted in the identification of two strategic objectives that the women agreed to action and implement. These include, women’s contribution to nation-building, and working as collective towards strengthening the women’s movement. Dr. Rabab Baldo, Senior Gender Advisor for the IGAD OSESS presented on the outcomes of the two strategic workshops that were conducted in 2018 and 2019. She shared that the workshops helped define the priorities for the transitional period in South Sudan, and also provided the South Sudanese women with a platform to see how far they have come with the commitment. During the feedback discussing the priorities, the women identified three setbacks experience during the implementation process which included; the lack of implementation of the R-ARCSS, lack of political will, and the lack of representation of women in key political positions.
The Minister of Gender Child and Social Welfare who was present, asked the women leaders to put partisan politics aside and instead prioritize national interest, this same sentiment was later echoed by H.E Josephine Ladu, the Minister for Agriculture who also stressed the need to streamline the partnerships between civil society and governments as women in political parties often drop the women’s agenda and pick their respective parties agendas. Before the session concluded the participants engaged in a process of visualizing the kind of South Sudan they would imagine, the common thread that they sought to see was “A South Sudan that is silent from Guns, with accessibility of basic resources and opportunities for all.”
The key outcome of the workshop focused on the priorities of the South Sudanese women within the remaining tasks of the Revitalized Peace which are; increasing effective women’s political participation and leadership; establishing and creating a strong women’s movement, strengthening communication and coordination among women’s groups and networks, and capacity building among others. This outcome feeds into a joint action plan that the South Sudanese Women will implement while working as a collective to address gender issues during the transitional period.
ACCORD continues its efforts in enhancing the role of women to prevent, mitigate and resolve complex conflicts, contributing to the broader agenda of UNSCR 1325 on WPS.