Exhibition show for women’s livelihood activities in Western Bahr el Ghazal – Wau

In the commemoration of 16 days of activism against Gender-Based Violence, Women and Girls in Eastern Bank and Busere continue to commemorate the event by showcasing their livelihood activities that were conducted at the center throughout the year. The event aims to support the women and girls in marketing their livelihood activities that were conducted at the Women and Girls Safe Space and to conduct advocacy and challenge attitudes, behaviors, and activities that lead to an increase in child/forced Marriage and other forms of GBV.

The Western Bahr el Ghazal state Theme: “Invest in Youth, Prevent and Response to Violence Against Women and Girls”

The Director General for the Ministry of Gender Child and Social Welfare Mama Anna Ali has called on the women and girls to make good use of the Women and Girls Safe Space for its intended purpose and called on the citizens of Western Bahr el Ghazal state to avoid cultures that will hinder the progress of women and girls in the community

“This center was not built for you to be bad women in your own houses, but to put your house in order, to raise your children rightfully, for girls to know their rights, and to know where to get the psychosocial support and any other support. Cultures are not bad but there are negative cultures that we don’t want to continue with, the one which is hindering women from progressing or developing, the one that doesn’t let women take their initiative further”

Mama Anna also urged women to go to school and get some jobs/work that they are not able to get,

“In South Sudan, the population of women is higher than the population of men, and if we don’t allow women to work then there will be a gap in many things because the biggest population is not working, that is why I’m calling for women to have access to work, but all this need education and our culture has also contributed to the women downfall,”.

For her part the Norwegian Church Aid – NCA, representative Ms. Sebila Sebit, has indeed appreciated the women of Eastern Bank for their creativity and innovation, to create and innovate more activities that create co-existence in the community.

 “Many activities are happening within the center, that includes psychosocial support and I’m very sure all of you are benefiting from these sessions I’m so happy that every time I come to the center I find you seated alone as women discussing your issue that is the empowerment we are talking about and I wanted to say you women are very innovative you were able to create other activities within the center, that is the cultural dance which is part of psychosocial support and part of coexisting I know the community of Eastern Bank is compressing of so many neighboring communities from other states, and you’re here to live within this center as one people and this is the spirit we wish to see happening even in many years to come.”

Ms. Sabit also applauds the women of Eastern Banks for the great work they are doing to produce sanitary parts for themselves locally, and she urged men to support women in stopping any violence against women and girls in the community,

“One thing that stood out for me is that you women were able to produce a sanitary part that is something significant and showed that the training you were given you haven’t just sleep on it but you were able to use the knowledge that you were given and I would like to encourage all of us who are here to continue producing this for ourselves because this is very cheaper to produce at home than buying it every month from the market. And also, to the husband of these women, to brothers, to uncles please support these women at home, by stopping violence against them, and preventing any violence that may happen against them and it is your responsibility and our responsibility to respond to any violence that may occur against them”

Speaking during the event CARDO South Sudan Head of Programs Ms. Elizabeth Mutindi has called on women and everyone to speak up on violence against women and girls in the community,

 “I want us to believe today that a world without violence against women is achievable, I want us to start working toward that, let us stand and challenge that, when you see that small girl don’t see dowry, don’t see somebody wife, at less let these girls enjoy their teenage age”.

Ms. Mutindi also urged the parents to examine girls from the child labor that they are subjected to,

“Some of these girls have been turned into income generating machines, they have been sent to go out there to hawk groundnuts, vegetables they have been sent to do some uncalled business activities, mothers who are here, let us give these girls the dignity they deserve, let exam these girls from child labor, let us stop exposing these girls to those areas that they are likely to meet perpetrators and because you know GBV cases happen in such areas.”

During the same event the Block administrator representative, Mr. John Grang called on women to take advantage of the humanitarian support seriously, citing that the humanitarian will not be here forever.

“Those who don’t know how to make bedsheets please learn how to make them to help your family, because these NGOs are not going to be here forever, they have shown you the skill and they will leave, and if you fail to learn any from what they taught you then you will be left empty handy.”

The Women and Girls Safe Space was constructed in 2020 with funding from NCA, the two centers are places where women and girls feel safe to go to and interact among themselves, discuss issues related to women and girls, and access information on prevention and response to Gender Base Violence (GBV).

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