By Bonifacio Taban Kuich
December 16, 2012 (JUBA) - Members of the civil society and donors on Sunday concluded a two-day meeting aiming at addressing the gender disparity in the world’s youngest nation.
The meeting, dubbed international dialogue for peace building and state building, took place in Juba, the South Sudan from 15-16 December.
It aimed at striking a new deal that would allow equal participation of both men and women in building the new nation, which suffered decades of a bloody civil war.
The dialogue, which drew civil society groups from the East African countries, and representatives from the Joint Donor Team (JDT) countries, was also attended by South Sudanese civil society representatives as well as government officials.
Morten Lauridsen, a representative from Denmark said such a dialogue is vital for achieving an atmosphere where civil society groups, government and development communities can work together inorder to steer the nation forward.
“The new deal is very much about creating a strong country leadership and ownership of the process and that what we have been seeing here in South Sudan,” Lauridson said.
South Sudan, he added, is a “fragile” country and issues of gender equality must be emphasized so that all citizens can actively participate in nation building.
Jackline Novello, the Director for Gender in the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare acknlowledged the gender gap still existing in the young nation, saying such challenges can be overcome through a proper dialogue between the civil society fraternity and government.
"Achieving gender equality is one of the Millennium Development Goal, but there is some challenges for others countries to achieved it. This is why a new deal is another alternative for this country to be given another chance so that if implemented, they will be able to cope up with others countries also in the development,” Novella said.
South Sudan, she said, still remains fragile and that gender equality, if properly implemented can help South Sudan achieve prosperity and the much-needed development.
Meanwhile, Rita Martin, the Director for EVE; a South Sudan-based local women local organization urged the JDT countries to support government in its efforts to a achieve gender equality in the young nation.