South Sudan launch Side by Side national chapter

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On 26th July 2018, the Side by Side, Faith Movement for Gender Justice, South Sudan Chapter was successfully launched with attendance of over 52 people representing the Faith Leaders (Christians and Muslims), South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) Members of the Executive Committee, Members of the National Legislative Assembly – Government of South Sudan, Government representatives, Chaplains from the organised forces (Army, Police, Department of Prison and Wildlife), Lawyers, ACT Alliance members – Country Directors & staff, UN Women, National NGOs, Universities and journalists.

 

The occasion was marked with speeches from the SSCC general Secretary, Rev. Fr. James Oyet who officially opened the launch and stressed the importance of the SbS movement led by faith leaders, whom he believed will make a great influence in the country, which is torn up with war resulting to increased Gender Based Violence in all its forms. The ACT Alliance Convener, who is also Christian Aid Country Manager, South Sudan Programme, Mr. James Wani shared some global statistics of girls who are raped daily, which indeed called for our action to stop the Gender Based Violence which is worst in our country. He added that, CA and all ACT Alliance members are committed to the cause and will work together with all the partners in South Sudan to advance the SbS South Sudan Chapter and make gender justice a reality.

 

Four panellists each made a ten minutes presentation. Rev. Fr. David Tombe, outlined the role of Christianity in addressing Gender from a Christian perspective and with reference to the Biblical Theme of the launching: Gen.1:27God created human beings in his own image male and female”. Ms. Joy, from the Ministry of Education, Gender Department reiterated the call for the importance of girls’ education in South Sudan. Mrs. Suhaila Deng from the South Sudan Islamic Council, spoke of how Islam provides some rights to women in family property inheritance. She added that, Side by Side Faith Movement for Gender Justice was initiated at the right time. Calling for both Christians and Muslims in South Sudan to unite and work side by side in addressing the gender-based violence, which has been deeply rooted in our cultures and traditions. Mr. Blaise Tombe Fiorentino, a lawyer by profession, gave an outline of some of the most important bills contained in the South Sudan Interim constitution of 2011, penal codes and the customary laws which are being developed.

 

Ms. Elizabeth Awate, from UN Women who said she was impressed by the occasion and especially that SbS being a faith movement aimed at addressing Gender Justice. She added that, she was also glad to see that, some of their funded national partners were already members of the SbS South Sudan Chapter. That meant, UN Women was already there and promised to work with the organisers. Hon. Dusman Joyce James commended on the efforts and the initiative of the SbS Faith Movement for Gender Justice now taking roots in South Sudan. Faith leaders have a great role to play and are very influential. The fact that there were many faith leaders involved, especially men who have become champions for gender justice was an indication solidarity. As a member of the national legislative assembly, they had started the drafting of family law which is lacking in South Sudan. Their efforts need to be supported by others, such as those attending this very important launching of the SbS South Sudan chapter, she added. The need for collaboration and moving together with the faith community and other stake holders was necessary and important for bringing about the desired change in our country, South Sudan. With each other’s commitment and action for moving it forward. I want to encourage the committee and all those present here to start even in a small way, Hon. Dusman concluded.

 

 

Written by Lino Baba Diye, focal point for Side by Side South Sudan.

 

With thanks to our South Sudan Chapter Organisers:

  1. Lino Baba Diye, Christian Aid (CAID), Convener
  2. Agnes Alal, Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), Co. Convener
  3. Leonard Towongo, Episcopal Church of South Sudan, Education and Training (ECSS-Ed and Training), Secretary
  4. Agnes Wasuk, South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC), Member
  5. Dolly Anek-Skills for South Sudan- member.
  6. Dennis Joseph Support for Peace education and Development Programme (SPEDP)- member.
  7. Zelipha Dawa MACDA- Member
  8. Evans Tutut – Mundri Relief and Development Agency (MRDA)- Member
  9. Florence Henry- ECSS- Mothers Union- Member.

 

 

Acknowledgements:

  1. Church of Sweden for the financial support and accompaniment.
  2. Norwegian Church Aid for hosting the steering committee meetings.
  3. Christian Aid for facilitating the process and providing the financial guarantee.
  4. South Sudan Council of Churches General Secretary for proving full support to the process.
  5. Commitment of the members of the steering committee for their consistency and dedication.

 

Posted by: Rachel Tavernor | Monday, August 13th, 2018
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