Women trained to participate in politics
24 November 2011 - More than 50 women began a three-day training session in participation and representation in political processes today in the Western Bahr-El Ghazal capital Wau.
The training of trainers' workshop, which drew participants from women's organizations in Wau and Awiel of Western Bahr El-Ghazal and Kuajok in Unity State, was organized by the non-governmental organization (NGO) South Sudanese Network for Democratic Elections (SSuNDE) and sponsored by the NGO National Democratic Institute.
SSuNDE Wau representative Amani Ibrahim said her organization aimed at promoting dialogue between state assembly members and citizens in identifying issues of societal concern and bringing them to government attention for solutions.
"We are concerned with women's participation in political aspects to allow them to engage actively in the forthcoming constitutional development process," she said, adding that the workshop would identify two women from every state to help pinpoint issues in their areas.
"Today is yet another giant step towards nation building," said NDI Senior Field Program Manager Jame Kolok.
"We have categorized our programmes into five aspects, beginning with programme research," said Mr. Kolok. Programme research focused on data collection at the payam level which would be presented to the state government for action.
Constitutional development, radio and women's participation, community organizing and technical as well as financial support to SSuNDE were among key programmes that NDI would be executing, said Mr. Jame, urging participants to approach the training seriously so that they could teach others.
Acknowledging NDI for their support to both the government and Wau citizens, State Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Mary Karlino Madut said African cultures impeded women's participation in political and community life, as women were mostly charged with domestic duties.
She urged both SSuNDE and NDI to coordinate regularly with state women's associations to ensure that women were not left behind in terms of human development.