South Sudan (SSB) – Gender equality is a term that most analysts, scholars and political thinkers have been using since the end of Second World War to refer to a state of equal rights among all people regardless of gender, race, educational status and environmental backgrounds.
Despite all the measures taken by various concerned organizations to eradicate gender-based violence in South Sudan, some people are driven by wrong consciences rooted in biased cultural norms and practices still believe that it is a blissful dream that will never come true; they insist that it is just a form of despair and denial of responsibilities.
There are still great opportunistic steps that can be taken to achieve this first step to gender equality regardless of sex, age, level of education and so forth. For example, setting up of women’s right training centre in all parts of the country would help girls and women to know their rights and responsibility in the society.
This is very important because the first step to personal identity is knowing who we are, and what we are capable of doing. There is an urgent need to create awareness among women that they are complex beings blessed with vast talents that can immensely contribute to the success and well being on this planet earth.
Secondly, promotion of girl-child education would lower the level of illiteracy hence upgrading the spirit of love and togetherness among people across South Sudan and reducing the rising level of early marriages among girls below maturity age.
Thirdly, we need to empower women in leadership positions and assure them that God created them with unimaginable talents which they can apply when given a chance to work with the government, in the private sector or in self-employment.
Fourthly, allowing women to participate in either local or international affairs implies that every person – man or woman, girl or boy, young or old – has an area in life where their best talent is well expressed and greatly utilized.
We all know that there are various aspects of life: you can be good at dancing, and your friend may be good at singing. Therefore, you may learn from him/her as she/he learns from you. Ultimately, you all ended up learning from each other.
If we acknowledge each other, then we shall witness how prosperous and peaceful this country can be.
But that is not always the case in South Sudan. Take forced marriages, for instance. Imagine if the same thing applies to men, how will they feel and react, seeing their rights to freedom of choice being violated and undermined before their own eyes!
These are the grievances and agonies that are being inflicted on girls and people who should have abated them have folded their arms doing nothing for heartless and chauvinistic men to desist from inhuman practices.
It is never too late to amend. Fortunately, this is the luckiest generation where we can still read the minds of great men centuries dead.
It is now our chance and task to tackle each and every challenge that comes our way since we have all that it takes to right the wrong. Let’s double our effort to improve this great step towards gender equality in South Sudan.
There is an Arabic saying that one hand does not make the wanted sound unless joined with another hand. For us to succeed in bringing about gender equality in South Sudan, we have to value our women and young girls.
We should bear in mind that what harms and makes another human being uncomfortable and upset is an inexcusable injustice to all.
You should also bear in mind that the person you are neglecting today is of great importance to you and you will one day need him or her. God has a purpose of creating earth differently, placing us in different parts of the world.
Therefore, you shouldn’t consider yourself as of more importance than the others. We are all the same in the eyes of God! We are the children of the same God – men and women, boys and girls.
“Imagine a World without Women; Imagine World without Men”
The writer is a high school student of Light House International School in Juba, South Sudan.
This report prepared by Agar Mayor Gai for PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers