“Based on my experience in South Sudan, most of the gender-based violence is related to the cultures because it gives more power to women than men; starting with the level of participation since childhood, girls suffer more than boys,” Ms. Flora told ACI Africa November 24.
She further noted that in South Sudan’s constitution, “the customary law really contradicts the penalty law especially on issues to do with a rape, which is a crime according to penalty law.”
“If you go deeper sometimes, the traditional authorities interfere when it comes to issues to do with rape,” she further said.
She explained, “According to the customary law, if the two parents of the perpetrators agree to settle the case peacefully with the family, it can end at that customary level and such are practical challenges faced in South Sudan.”
Ms. Flora decried what she termed rampant “structural/injustice kind of violence” that the members of the community consider normal, noting that the training aimed at making participants “really understand” issues surrounding GBV.
That the nine-year-old nation does not have a special law on GBV seems a major challenge in effectively tackling GBV, Paul Jenrio Solomon who co-facilitated the training told ACI Africa.
For the South Sudanese advocate, hope lies in the ratification and legislation of the anti-gender draft bill developed by South Sudan’s Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in 2018.
The anti-GBV training took place on the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women marked Wednesday, November 25 under the theme, “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”
The annual event precedes the start of the 16 days of Activism against gender-based violence that will conclude on the International Human Rights Day, 10 December 2020.
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