On the launch of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, we recommit to achieving a world where women and girls enjoy their full range of rights, reach their full potential, and live a life free from violence. Freedom from violence is a fundamental human right. Violence against women and girls is one of the most pervasive human rights violations in the world, rooted in gender inequality, discrimination, and harmful cultural and social norms. It is also increasingly recognized as a public health issue that adversely affects the health of women and girls. To this end, the Women, Peace, and Security Group of South Sudan welcomes further progress by the Government of South Sudan to end all forms of violence against women and girls and to ensure adequate financing and budget allocation to realize those goals.
The Women, Peace, and Security Group notes significant steps made by the Government of South Sudan to end violence against women and girls in South Sudan. This includes continuing to prosecute cases in the Gender-Based Violence Court, established in 2020, and plans to extend its reach to the state level, as well as adoption of the Joint Action Plan on CRSV and the establishment of special protection units and one-stop centers. Long-term financial investments will help ensure the sustainability, impact, and reach of these initiatives. In turn, by reducing the rates of gender-based violence across the country, these investments will reduce current and future costs associated with absenteeism, loss of income, and healthcare – costs that arise as a result of gender-based violence, and that not only affect survivors, but also their families, communities, and networks. Across the globe, the evidence is clear: reducing rates of gender-based violence pays dividends for all.
The Women, Peace, and Security Working Group stands in solidarity with women and girls in South Sudan who play a critical and active role in peacebuilding and nation-building. We continue to encourage the Government of South Sudan to meaningfully leverage and allocate domestic resources for the prevention and response to violence against women and girls and to ensure budget allocations are executed and reach their intended recipients. This should include the allocation of resources for the dissemination and implementation of the government’s CRSV Joint Action Plan, delivering support and services to children born of conflict-related sexual violence and their families, tackling stigmatization of survivors and damaging social norms, and budget allocation for implementation of the government’s new WPS National Action Plan.
By leveraging and allocating domestic resources for the prevention and response to violence against women and girls, the Government of South Sudan will help create a more sustainable future for its people, and reduce reliance on external financing and as well as vulnerability to external shocks. A South Sudan-led commitment to financing this issue at home will provide hope to survivors and their families, who are in need of affordable, accessible, and trauma-informed support services. Everyone has a role to play: the private sector, civil society, and government, at all levels.
Preventing violence against women and girls are pre-conditions to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda. Gender equality and empowering women and girls benefits everyone and contributes to stronger, more peaceful, and prosperous societies. During these 16 Days of Activism, we invite all stakeholders to renew efforts to invest in the prevention of violence against women and girls. This is crucial to advance gender equality, amplify the voice and accomplishments of inspiring women and girls, and champion their needs in South Sudan and around the world.
African Union Mission in South Sudan (AUMISS)
British Embassy Juba
Delegation of the European Union to South Sudan
Embassy of Canada to South Sudan
Embassy of Sweden Office in South Sudan
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in South Sudan
Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway in South Sudan
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Sudan
Swiss Cooperation Office in Juba
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)
United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
United States Agency for International Development South Sudan (USAID)
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UN Women – Africa.