Gender equality and the empowerment of women are central to the mandate of UNDP and intrinsic to its development approach. Gender equality, rooted in human rights, is not only a development goal on its own but also vital to accelerating sustainable development for all.

Our Goals

The crisis that erupted in July 2016 continues to exacerbate gender inequality due to women’s greater vulnerability to poverty; distinctive social obligations and responsibilities; as well as exposure to sexual and gender-based violence. More than 300,000 malnourished pregnant and lactating women require assistance, and 1 in 7 women die giving birth. South Sudan has the highest maternal mortality in the world. According to Africa Human Development Report 2016, women in Sub-Saharan Africa achieve only 87% of men’s levels of human development. In line with UNDP’s Gender Equality Strategy 2014-2017 and in close consultation with national, state and county government as well as with development partners, UNDP South Sudan works to mainstream gender equality and advance women's empowerment into core governance functions, economic recovery, service delivery, disaster risk reduction, access to justice and rule of law, peace building and reconciliation. We envision a peaceful, democratic, just and prosperous South Sudan where men and women can reach their full potential and contribute equally to the development of their country.

Women working in the market. ©UNDP/Julie Pudlowski. more

Men advocate for women rights in South Sudan

To mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, traditional leaders, local government officials, and activists from across South Sudan travelled to Juba to advocate for gender empowerment and women’s rights. They spoke to UNDP about their regional experiences.

Our Stories

Laura Poni Hatim is a married mother of five children, two boys and three girls. She is a social worker at the Special Protection Unit of the State Ministry of Education, Gender and Social Welfare office in Yambio. Every morning she leaves her children with their grandmother and walks 45 minutes to reach her office where she is completely dedicated to supporting and assisting victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).more 

Joyce Dawa, from Torit County, suffered violence in her marriage for more than three years. When she was 14, her parents forced her to marry and she had to drop out of school. Joyce’s story is not uncommon in South Sudan. Gender inequalities are particularly salient in the new country. Women and girls find themselves deprived of justice in customary laws due to certain cultural traditions, which often restrict women’s opportunities to fully participate in the socio economic realm of their communities whilst also making them more vulnerable to abuse.more 

Training Midwives for safe pregnancies
Nurse-midwife Silvanus Odukis checks the blood pressure of a pregnant woman in the town of Terekeka. Credit: UNDP/Elena Sosa Lerín
Dispatches from the IGAD Regional Initiative: Training Midwives for Safe Pregnancies in Terekeka, South Sudan

Mr. Silvanus Odukis, a qualified Kenyan nurse-midwife, with over 30 years of experience in maternal care, knows the inherent challenges of giving birth in South Sudan, one of the world’s deadliest countries to give birth.more 

End child marriage and pledge for gender parity: Yes, You Can South Sudan!
A woman shouts out in a female parade at the Nyakuron Cultural Center in Juba.
End child marriage and pledge for gender parity: Yes, You Can South Sudan!

Every 8th of March (#IWD2016), people from all around the world talk about women rights, equality, parity, and family conciliation. For one day, everybody seems to support women, but apart from celebrating and congratulating women on this day, what concrete actions we take the rest of the year to achieve gender parity?more 

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