On the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, the South Sudan Women, Peace and Security Working Group is calling on the government to increase resources for the fight against gender-based violence (GBV).
In a statement, the working group co-chaired by the Embassies of Norway and Sweden, acknowledged significant steps by South Sudan to end violence against women and girls including prosecuting cases in the Gender-Based Violence Court, established in 2020, and plans to extend its reach to the state level, as well as the adoption of the Joint Action Plan and the establishment of special protection units and one-stop centers.
However, the group highlighted that more needs to be done.
“We continue to encourage the Government of South Sudan to meaningfully leverage and allocate domestic resources for the prevention and response to violence against women and girls and to ensure budget allocations are executed and reach their intended recipients,” the statement reads in part. “This should include allocation of resources for dissemination and implementation of the government’s CRSV Joint Action Plan, delivering support and services to children born of conflict-related sexual violence and their families, tackling stigmatization of survivors.”
The group notes, “Long-term financial investments will help ensure the sustainability, impact, and reach of these initiatives. In turn, by reducing the rates of gender-based violence across the country, these investments will reduce current and future costs associated with absenteeism, loss of income, and healthcare – costs that arise as a result of gender-based violence, and that not only affect survivors, but also their families, communities, and networks. Across the globe, the evidence is clear: reducing rates of gender-based violence pays dividends for all.”
The women’s group emphasized that by allocating domestic resources for the prevention of GBV, the government creates a more sustainable future for its people, and reduces reliance on external financing and as well as vulnerability to external shocks.
The statement further said that a South-Sudan commitment would provide hope to survivors and their families, who need affordable, accessible, and trauma-informed support services.
“Preventing violence against women and girls are pre-conditions to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda. Gender equality and empowering women and girls benefit everyone and contribute to stronger, more peaceful, and prosperous societies. During these 16 Days of Activism, we invite all stakeholders to renew efforts to invest in the prevention of violence against women and girls. This is crucial to advance gender equality, amplify the voice and accomplishments of inspiring women and girls, and champion their needs in South Sudan and around the world,” the statement concluded.
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. This year’s theme is “UNITE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”