Women and girls in Aweil are being encouraged to get an education as a pathway to enhancing their contribution to peace building, national development and self-fulfillment.
“From this workshop we have learned that the peace agreement is very good and inclusive,” says female activist Angelina Thiep. “Everybody is included in the implementation of the deal and has a part to play, especially women.”
Ms. Thiep was one of about 60 female leaders and a few men to participate in a one-day workshop focusing on the rights of women as stipulated in the revitalized peace agreement, with their entitlement to 35 per cent political representation being a stand-out provision. The session was organized by the Gender Affairs Unit of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.
For the attending women, peace is paramount.
“We need peace to come to all of us,” says Roda Kueth Tach. “As women, we have a big role to play in achieving it, and we shall start by reconciling neighbours.”
Another attendee, Thomas Chan Mareng, says the youth will work side by side with women to promote peace in the many communities of the Aweil area.
“Youth can build up the society by empowering women and making them less susceptible to discrimination,” says Chan, a member of the local youth association.
Ataklti Hailu, a representative of the peacekeeping mission, believes that one particular element is key to make gender parity a reality: education.
“For women and girls to be emancipated and achieve equality in society, there most important thing is education. It is a universal equalizer, and by educating both men and women we are bringing this whole society to a higher level of prosperity.”