The next speaker of our national legislative assembly should be a lady from Equatoria

Posted: June 14, 2016 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

My suggestion to the president of the Republic of South Sudan, H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit: YES WOMEN CAN!!!

By Duluma SK’Maker, Juba, South Sudan

minister

Sabina Dario Lokolong, deputy minister for humanitarian affairs and disaster management, Nov 2011

June 14, 2016 (SSB) — Your Excellency, accept my heartfelt congratulations for bringing meaningful peace to the country, may almighty God bless and increase you with wisdom to lead this beloved country. Your Excellency, I would like you to appoint a competent female MP as the Speaker of the NLA in the upcoming TGNOU because women should be empowered in the decision-making positions; for women are the right people who care for peaceful co-existence.

The state is male in the Feminist sense; In the African traditional societies especially in what had become the present South Sudan, the law sees and treats women the way men see and treat women because the laws were legislate by men neglecting women and that believe still persists up to date in the modern South Sudan. I would like to register my vote of thank you and congratulate the parliamentarians of Equatoria region for their considerate nomination of a woman to be among four candidates for the position of Speakership of National Legislative Assembly in the upcoming transitional government of national unity.

Dear Honorable MPs of Equatoria, you have demonstrated to the political leadership of the country and the SPLM as a ruling party that women can take up the top leadership of National Legislative assembly and steer it to peace and prosperity by nominating a qualified, capable and a vocal woman who will improve the lawmaking and information sharing on laws made. I believe most of the female MPs sitting in the NLA are potential leaders although they are neglected by masculine led government. Most of the politicians with patriarchal   minds are suppressing talented women leaders but if South Sudan has to be prosperous, most male politicians should stop sidelining women and ignore this huge potential which is untapped.

Since the Regional government up to date, the speakers of National legislative assembly had been men and are still men; for instance:

1. Speakers during the Regional Government.     

  1. Hon. Lubari Ramba Lokolo who became a speaker from 15th Dec. 1973 to 15th July 1975
  2. Hon.Hillary Paul Logali who became a speaker from 20th Oct. 1975 to 15th Dec. 1977
  3. Hon. Clement Mboro who became a speaker from 28th July 1978 to 17th July 1979
  4. Hon. Isaiah Kulang Mabor who became a speaker from 18th July 1979 to 4th Feb. 1980
  5. Hon. Angelo Beda who became a speaker from 30th May 1980 to 5th June 1981
  6. Hon. Mathews Obur who became a speaker from 23rd June 1982 to 5th June 1983

2. Speakers during the SPLM led government.

  1. Rt. Hon. James Wani Igga who became a speaker for Southern Sudan Legislative assembly from 29th September 2005 to 9th July 2011 and again became a speaker for the National Legislative assembly from 9th July 2011 to 24th August 2013
  2. Rt. Hon. Manasseh Magok Rundial who is the incumbent speaker.

Based on this masculine domination both in the Presidency, the parliament, Judiciary, and the recently appointed 28 male governors, I am urging women in leadership level such as women parliamentarian caucus, SPLM Women League and all other common women plus men with feminists view to ask the Equatoria MPs and SPLM party to endorse the appointment of a qualified, capable and vocal female MP with a rational mind to be the speaker of National Legislative assembly in order to change the face of the assembly which had been dominated by the male politicians for centuries because what a man can do, a woman can do it better.

To-date, women’s representation in key governance institutions are as followed: “Chairpersons of independent Commissions stand at 10%, Council of States Members 12%, Undersecretaries 13%.” In addition, Foreign Missions stand at 4.5%, National Judiciary 3% and State governors at 0%.  These statistics clearly indicate gender inequality and lack of women’s empowerment in decision-making positions in the government yet most of them are potential leaders in their own right. Although the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCIRSS), unlike the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), provides provisions for including women in governance.

For instance, in the governance pillar, ARCIRSS mandates the Government of Republic of South Sudan (GRSS) to nominate not fewer than 4 women and not fewer than 3 women from the SPLM-IO as ministers, and 2 women as deputy ministers. However, the ARCIRSS limits the provision to the executive branch of the government, and fails to extend the constitutional requirement to legislative and judicial branches. Equally important is the empowerment of women in decision-making positions at the state level because the state governments have been behind in term of women representation. Both parties should extend the national commitment to the state and county levels.

Yes they (women) can!! Your Excellency, the SPLM chairman who is the president of the Republic of South Sudan, I wholeheartedly ask your authority to appoint one of the potential female MP to be the Speaker of NLA this time and I believe you and the political leadership of the party and the country as well will not regret it because most of the women are incorruptible and indeed by the virtue of being mothers, it is their primary duty to offer what is required of them at all costs.

However, Mr. President, women had played instrumental roles during 22 years of liberation struggle which culminated into an independent South Sudan ranging from direct participation in front lines, for example, late Commander Ager Gum et al to propagating peace, bridging conflicts divides and advocating for peaceful settlement of the Sudan’s civil war.

The Government has been underrepresenting women in its governance institutions yet South Sudanese women have wealth of knowledge, information, and skills that are useful for leadership in addition, they have constitutional rights that obligate them to fully participate in every aspect of public life.

The concept of male supremacy or patriarchy in the House of Representatives (National Legislative Assembly) is a clear marginalization of women which can be overturned this time by inaugurating one of the capable female MP as the Speaker of the National Legislative Assembly.

I, therefore, call upon the president of the Republic, SPLM Political Bureau and the leadership of the country to listen to the voices of the sympathetic people and the women who had endured a very severe marginalization in all aspects of public life particularly since the inception of the people’s assembly from 1973 up to date by making a historical appointment of a female MP because what men can do, women can make it better and yes they can!!!

The writer, Duluma SK’Maker, is a South Sudanese who believes in gender equity. He could be reached via his email address: duluma88@gmail.com or number 0954440496.

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing.           

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