Debate on “women’s security and gender-responsive recovery”

Nov 18, 2015

Ms. Fabiola Ngeruka

The UNDP South Sudan Gender Focal Team hosted the first office-wide debate on “women’s security and gender-responsive recovery” on 18 November 2015.

The debate, facilitated by Ms. Fabiola Ngeruka and Grace Chirewa from UNFPA, offered an opportunity to UNDP staff and representatives from government counterparts and development partners to think through the synergies between women’s security and economic empowerment and the gaps that UNDP and its partners can help address in South Sudan.

“Improved livelihoods contribute to people’s security, including women’s security”, said Johnson K. Ndichu, Nile Hope Programme Coordinator. Talking about sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), Maj. Gen. Henry Danima Odu, Director of Training of the South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS), mentioned “SGBV is a crime and the SSNPS is committed to strengthening women’s protection, in collaboration with UNDP and other partners.

Participants concurred that there is a need to strengthen the multi-sectoral approach to respond and prevent SGBV, which includes health and psychosocial support, access to justice, protection and social integration, including sustainable livelihood opportunities.

Gender norms, customs and practices that prevent women from living the productive, fulfilling lives they deserve were also debated. Participants agreed that the harmonization of traditional and statutory laws is key to accelerate gender equality as well as the engagement of men and boys to challenge gender-based discrimination.

This is the first of a series of office-wide gender perspective building events that the UNDP South Sudan Gender Focal Team is promoting as spaces for conversations on gender issues.

Speaking on the occasion, UNDP Country Director, Balázs Horváth, noted that the country office’s vision on gender equality and women’s empowerment is “a peaceful, democratic, just and prosperous South Sudan where men and women can reach their full potential and contribute equally to development.”

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