Launch of Women Arise for Peace and Development in South Sudan

July 28, 2023

Hon. Aya Warile, Nora Zangabayo and Titus Osundina at the launch

UNDP/Sarah Sibrino

On Thursday 27th July 2023, Hon. Ayaa Benjamin Warile, the Minister for Gender, Child and Social Welfare officiated the launch of Women Arise for Peace and Development in South Sudan (WAPDSS) consortium with support from UNDP. (WAPDSS) is a national campaign that recognizes and celebrates the role women play in peace and development; pre, during and post the liberation struggle. 

The event which was celebrated in the month of South Sudan’s 12th Independence was well attended by women from all works of life including in governance (legislature, executive, judiciary), civil society, faith-based organizations, NGOs, Political parties, academia, business, community leaders, uniform (organized forces), health sector, persons with disabilities, youth, UN Agencies, and men allies. The Chairperson of the Women Arise Network, Nora Zangabayo who introduced the network spoke passionately about women working together and encouraging them to participate in decision making.

Women played an instrumental role in the country’s liberation struggle and continue to participate in peace and development efforts today however, their contributions are not as recognized compared to their male counterparts. Mr. Titus Osundina, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP speaking at the launch said, ‘’UNDP is pleased to partner with the consortium and is encouraged to see South Sudanese women getting stronger and taking their rightful place in nation building and on issues of peace and development.’’

South Sudan signed a Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) in 2018 which provides opportunities to address women’s issues and concerns, most especially a provision for at leas a 35 per cent affirmative action quota for women in the composition of the structures of government during the pre-transitional and transitional periods of the agreement. 

There are also important provisions for resource management, transitional justice, security sector reform and humanitarian assistance that provide opportunities to reduce inequalities and gender gaps faced by women and girls in South Sudan by increasing access to education, healthcare, economic activities, protection, and political participation. 

Hon. Ayaa Benjamin Warile, the Minister for Gender, Child and Social Welfare said that she was happy to hear the women are working in unity through this consortium towards peace and development and advised against working in silos. She said that it up to the women to make their voices to be heard and encouraged the women to speak louder and louder.

During the meeting, the women also shared their personal experiences to encourage one another to keep fighting the good fight and remain united while doing it. 

Officially launched on 27th July 2023, Women Arise for Peace and Development in South Sudan (WAPDSS) is a network of women from 12 National Women Led Organizations (WLOs) African Relief Ministries (ARM), Sublime Organization (SO), Out of Chronic Hatred (OOCH), Girl Child Africa Foundation (GCAF), Little and More (LAM), Women and Child Rights Initiative (WCRI), Support of Women In Governance (SWIGO) and Community Humanitarian for Development Agency (CHADA) among others. 

women with hearing disabilities in attendance at the launch

UNDP/Sarah Sibrino