UNMISS-supported centre set to empower women in Wau
A fully refurbished women’s rehabilitation centre has been handed over to a local women’s group in Wau, to help empower them politically and economically.
Funded by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) through its Relief, Reintegration and Protection Section’s quick impact projects, the $45,000 (USD) centre will help build skills among women by offering short courses to those who had no chance of getting a formal education because they were married off at an early age.
“Today is a historic day. The rehabilitation centre was established in 1969 but was not functioning for many years due to dilapidated buildings and other facilities,’’ said Rougaia Madut Abdalla, advisor to the Wau Women’s Association.
A huge number of Wau area residents, including senior government officials, local charities, UN agencies and high school students, gathered at Wau Women Association compound to witness the colourful handover ceremony.
“The centre was unfunctional for several years due to lack of facilities that hinder women in the area from active engagement in peace building and tabling their concerns,’’ said Gabriella Ali, Minister of Child, Gender and Social Development for the Wau area government. ‘’But as of today, the centre will provide full services and bring all women together to discuss their challenges and contribute to debates and solutions to their problems,’’ she stated.
‘’The aim of this Quick Impact Project is to provide a safe space where women can meet to promote their participation in conversations that can and should promote their agency in governance and economic empowerment,’’ said Julie Kiwanuka, the lead relief, reintegration, and protection officer in Wau, who represented UNMISS at the ceremony.
She praised all stakeholders, including UNMISS Civil Affairs Division, who supported the project, and urged the women’s association leadership to use the rehabilitated space as a platform for inclusion of all women in finding solutions to end conflict, resolve differences and promote peace.
The project was developed in line with UN resolutions on women, peace and security, which guide work to promote gender equality and strengthen women’s participation, protection and rights across the conflict cycle, from conflict prevention through post-conflict reconstruction.