25 November 2012

South Sudan: Campaign Against Gender Based Violence Launched

Juba — The Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare on Friday launched the 16 Days of Activism Campaign Against Gender Based Violence [CAGBV]. The campaign was launched by the Deputy Minister Dr. Priscilla Joseph Kuch.

This year marks the 7th anniversary of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence in South Sudan but is the second year that the South Sudan is celebrating as an independent nation. The Ministry is working to devise new ways to utilize the campaign to bring about transformative change in women's lives.

Yet despite this increased awareness, women continue to experience violations in alarming numbers and new forms of violence are emerging. There is need to look more closely at the structures in place that permit gender based violence to exit and persist.

This year the global theme is "From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let's change militarism and end violence against women". The national theme of the Republic of South Sudan on the 16th Days of Activism 2012 is: "Promote Peace at Home Stop Gender Based Violence and Ending Child Marriage".

In South Sudan the first celebration was 2006 and 2008 celebration marked the launching of the First Special Protection Unit (SPU) at Malakia Police Station. The Ministry organized a procession led by a police band and women, school children, government Staff, UN Agencies, NGO's and other Activists marched from Buluk near the Technical School to Malakia Police Station where the first SPU was officially opened by the former Minister Hon. Mary Kiden Kimbo. Since then two other Units have been opened in Juba and Munuki Police Station others have been launched in Yambio, Western Equatoria State, Wau, Western Bahr el-Ghazal, Malakal, Upper Nile State and in Kwajok, Warrap, State.

The South Sudan Child Act 2008 has put the age for marriage at 18 years and should be with the consent of both parties, due to consequence of force marriage three girls in Lakes State, Rumbek and two in Jonglei State, Bor met their death because they refused to accept the arranged, marriage. Cases related to individuals taking the law into their hands are many and many women stay in police custody for long periods before trials are made, domestic violence is another area when women's rights are violated most. In 2009 a man killed his wife and the young girl child almost cutting their heads off.

The celebration of the campaign will be on Monday 26th November, 2012 from 8:30 am-01:00 pm at the New Sudan Hotel Palace hosted a half day program. The campaign will be waged through panel discussions on television and several media houses at the State level, the Ministries of Social Development will commemorate the 16 Days of Activism in their respective States.

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