Event Reports

“Peace starts in our homes!” – The Role of Women in Peace-Building in South Sudan

The prevalent underrepresentation of women in peace-building processes is one of the reasons for the failure to achieve lasting peace in South Sudan. For that matter there are increasing voices in calling for the greater role of women in the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCISS). The Workshop organised, by Mer Christian Women Fellowship, seeked to explore why women’s role in peacebuilding is critical and what the opportunities for women to participate in peacebuilding are.

On Monday 17th June, mostly female community leaders and other members of civil society came together to discuss ‘The Role of Women in Peace-Building Processes in South Sudan’ in Kampala. The Workshop was designed to examine the necessity of women’s participation in peacebuilding and furthermore to equip them with opportunities to actively play a part in the implementation of the R-ARCSS.

“Peace […] starts in our homes!” emphasised Jackie Batamuliza the main facilitator, who works for the Great Lakes Institute of Strategic Studies. Thereby she encouraged women to take action to identify and support structures which contribute to strengthen and solidify peace in order to avoid a relapse into conflict. The participants came face to face with real life stories. On that basis they discussed their lessons learnt about possible conflict solution mechanisms gained from these examples.

In her presentation Jackie Batamuliza lamented the need of women to detach oneself from cultural dependencies to take an active role in peace-building and reconciliation. She encouraged the participants to mobilise others to stand together as united women without regard to different origins or tribe belongings to enforce the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict (R-ARCISS) and of human rights. It is mainly women who suffer from the violent conflict in Southern Sudan, especially because human rights violations such as sexual abuse are mostly directed at women. The workshop participants actively shared their experiences in groups and discussed different approaches of how to better handle conflict situations in the future.

The workshop was wrapped up by Oneka Faith, a human Righs Lawyer, who focused on practical approaches to how South Sudanese women can participate in different peacebuilding initiatives.

Written by Sophie Brandt