Burning Women’s Uniform is un-Biblical: Women’s Rights are Spiritual Rights too

Posted: April 15, 2019 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Amer Mayen

Burning Women’s Clan Uniform is un-Biblical: Churches have no Ownership over Women in Jonglei State, South Sudan

By Amer Mayen Dhieu, Brisbane, Australia

Sunday, 14 April 2019 (PW) — A nation that does not accept, appreciate and acknowledge women’s socio-political and economics’ input in developmental affairs is doomed, and so is an institution whose male’s ego is threatened or shaken by woman’s effective contribution to socio-political arenas and economic lives of the people.

The recent burning of women’s traditional attires by the diocesan authorities of the Episcopal Church in Bor, Jonglei state, is a living example of how fragile masculinity can be and how easy the masculine ego can get wounded when woman manage to independently rise and showcase their true potentials without the support of their male counterparts.

For those who might not have had a chance to see these uniform in real life, all clans in Jonglei state were no longer identify by traditional clan-based patriarchal songs or simply through the basic men-grouping. One standing lady in traditional uniform can easily showcase what section or Boma in Jonglei state she hails from.

I remember PEACE DAY in Bor when I stood for an hour at my hotel window watching and adoring women in uniforms, matching from Langbar Junction to Bor Freedom Square, clan by clan. There were no men required as usual to represent clans.

The idea of women’s uniform was not only showcasing women’s creativity or social ability but was also giving women social power of representation. In so doing, women became the new ambassadors and the faces branding their communities. I found it socially empowering for women and beautiful by its nature.

Therefore, the decision taken and subsequent action made by the most male-dominated institution called church in Jonglei State to burn women’s uniforms demonstrate either a feeling of defeat or failure of critical thinking or a very sever error of decision-making at the root of our patriarchal society.  

Every institution do have a mandate and limitation of where their policies end. Having church leaders melded in community affairs shows lack of spiritual boundaries and misplaced judgement.

Jonglei state is a well organised community with its bureaucracies, community and government authorities, that oversee any critical tribal conflict. Even in the remotest possibilities that women’s uniforms become a source of confusion, creating disagreement and disunity among the locals, none of that would be a responsibility of church leaders.

We have local, head, executive and paramount chiefs and representatives of local government representing each section of our four communities — Nyarweng, Hol, Twic and Bor – in Jonglei state under state government who are authorized to act and respond accordingly should any need arise.

The role of the church, as far my Biblical knowledge is concern, is to educate public on spiritual affairs, pray for peace or else fix their Jol-wo-Liec and pastoral attitudes and churches internal conflicts, should they be looking for some humanly extra duties.

It is absurd to have higher church authorities practice non-biblical powers that reflect no respect for human properties and the dignity of our womenfolk.

The claim that church authorities were only burning traditional attires of women with spiritual responsibilities and those who hold positions in the church is purely deceiving and misleading. The churches have no ownership over those who serve at their congregation.

Jonglei’s women are entitled to exercise their social rights at their community level regardless of whatever position they might hold at other institutions – spiritual rights at church level and individual rights at family level. None of these rights should be undermined or trampled by the other. Human rights are spiritual rights too.

Ms. Amer Mayen Dhieu, the co-founder and executive director for the Twic East Girls Scholarship Program (TEGSP), received her Bachelor of Social Science degree, majoring in Psychology and Human Services from the Christian Heritage College in Brisbane, Queensland, and her Masters of International Relations, majoring in International Security and Human Rights, from Griffith University in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. She is currently doing her second Masters (MA) in Women Studies. You can reach her via her email: Mayen Dhieu mayendhieu90@gmail.com

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

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