UN Women chief Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on Friday asked South Sudanese parties to honor their women inclusion commitment in the country’s political process.
Despite the guarantees that 35 percent of the transitional government members would be women, parties are not honoring their commitment under the newly signed Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, said Mlambo-Ngcuka.
None of the currently formed institutions meet the 35 percent quota, she said in a briefing to the Security Council on a joint African Union/United Nations high-level visit to South Sudan on Oct. 7-9, shortly after the signing of the new peace deal.
The National Pre-Transitional Committee has one woman out of 10 members; the National Constitution Amendment Committee has 2 out of 15; no women in the Independent Boundaries Commission and the Technical Boundaries Commission or the Joint Transitional Security Committee, she noted.
The Cease-fire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring, Verification Mechanism is expected to have 31 percent of women, she said.
South Sudanese women believe implementing the 35 percent affirmative action is critical, at all levels and within all arms of government, and not just at the national executive level, said Mlambo-Ngcuka.
Women further want to ensure that the constitutional review process includes them so that their needs and their concerns are considered right from the start, she said.
They also asked to be included in security sector reforms and security institutions so that those institutions properly fulfill their role to protect all the people of South Sudan, including women and girls.
They outlined the importance of including women in leadership roles in those institutions to ensure that the security institutions are reconstituted in a manner that is gender-sensitive and focuses on protection of civilians from gender-based violence, she said.
The inclusion of women is also essential for reorganized security forces to change the face of the security forces and curb negative masculinities, she said.
Mlambo-Ngcuka asked the United Nations, the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development — the key guarantors of the South Sudanese peace agreement — to insist that the parties honor this commitment.