July 4, 2010 (ALEK) – A group of women in Southern Sudan have staged a campaign against domestic violence targeting women and called for ending it.
A regional campaign under the theme, ’Don’t kick her, kick the ball’, reportedly noted and observed an increase in some physical abuse against women, mostly in the rural areas in the region.
Nyandeng Ayuel Deng, a woman activist working for an international humanitarian aid agency as Gender and Social Affairs Officer in Warrap state, said the campaign would use the game of football to highlight the important message of sticking to non- violent relationships.
"We are going to use football to make our nation proud and make our people unite. We will also use football to highlight the important message, ‘don’t kick her, kick the ball," she said.
She said that studies, assessment and researches conducted in the region by many international organizations, in collaboration with government and UN agencies like UNICEF and UNDP, have revealed that an alarming percent of women in rural areas experiences regular physical and sexual violence at the hand of their partners.
"This is not acceptable. Why men should hit their partners," she said, stressing that if every woman will be good financially, she will not suffer such a fate and therefore violence will be eliminated. "Many women suffer this cruelty because they are poor," she added.
Congratulating the activists for coming up with what she described as bright and outstanding idea, she said initiatives to fight for women rights and improve their lives is the best option than embracing humiliating and embarrassing traditional tactics that bar women from exposing physical abuses by their partners.
"No neighbor can ever know what is affecting the other neighbor until exposed. The domestic violent being undergone by women silently, should therefore be exposed for wider intervention," she said.
In Alek town, two women, one of whom was selling tea narrated their ordeal of domestic violence. Ms. Nyannut Baak, now living in the same place where she makes tea, said she was beaten and chased away by her husband. She therefore decided to look for life support from anywhere possible.
"We built the house together, cultivated together and looked after the house together but still he did not recognize and began to mistreat me; and last year kicked me out of the house when I was pregnant and had another child," she explained.
She lamented that at times she lived in the streets while her daughter stayed at a house nearby. My granddaughter is grown (mature) and because she was eloped by someone who did not pay anything, he accused [me] to have colluded with her because I welcomed her back home for delivery when her husband could not look after her while pregnant," she narrated.
In Juba, Mary Subek at the ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development, praised the two girls for their courage to tell the stories and said in Southern Sudan, almost a half of women in a relationship have experienced physical and sexual violence.
"I believe no woman in Sudan can say she has been beaten by her [husband] even when it is a trivial issue. In any family a slight mistake by a woman in the house is first and foremost given slaps as a mean to settle it. Slaps are never counted," she said.
"This is injustice. This is inequality and injustice is still part of everyday life for women particularly in the rural areas and this must stop," she decried.