The Role of Women in Post Conflict Peace Building in the Republic of South Sudan: a Case of Jubek State
This research project examines the role of women in post conflict peace building in the Republic of South Sudan. There is common belief that state-building in conflict-torn countries such as South Sudan may offer important opportunities to spur women's rights, equality and participation in matters of governance for inclusive development. The main objective of this study was therefore to understand and assess the role of women in post conflict peace building. This is premised on the notion that women, as citizens of their country, are not peripheral in the political conflicts that occur in their country, but that they have a moral and social responsibility to participate in its reconstruction. This study examined the role of women in post conflict so as to explore the opportunities for strengthening their participation and shed light on the undocumented contributions of women. This research project examines the actual approaches that women employed in peace building, their actual contribution to the peace effort and possible impediments that influence their role. This research project is qualitative in nature. The data were obtained from secondary sources including legal documents. Some primary data were obtained mainly from key informants through interviews with women Member of Parliament, women CSOs and women councils in juba and Nairobi. The findings indicate that peace building efforts in South Sudan resulted in a higher representation of women at national, local and decision-making levels. However, this was after women’s advocacy and request for this involvement, it did not simply come. The findings also indicated that there are still many challenges to women's rights, equality and participation, which affect their roles in peace building. The challenges are asymmetric and include structural barriers embedded in customary laws, as well as low women's access to education. This study concurs with similar studies on the role of women in peace building, says Zaynab ElSawi (2011) and Mayesha et al (2014) which found that women have immensely contributed to peace building in South Sudan but with less documentation. It concludes that women can play an effective role in peace processes if they access appropriate routes and are sensitized through awareness creation about the benefits of peace for all concerned and the importance of spreading a culture of peace in the community. Women of (Jubek State) of South Sudan signify and epitomize a valuable and cutting across ethic lines through marriage. This is evident in the Government of South Sudan and others who seek to build a strong and politically sustainable nation-state and that several challenges confront the women in the socio-political context of South Sudan which inhibit the peace building process. The study recommends that women should continue to build approaches premised on consortia and networks to access slots in peace negations and funding, that post conflict building process should set priorities for the new state through consultations and other democratic processes that involve wide participation for women and ensure women representation at all levels of government. Finally, that the government of South Sudan should address barriers such as exclusion of women from governance by identifying and eliminating socioeconomic, political, and cultural barriers to women’s participation at the household, community and state levels.
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