Workshop decides on network of gender experts

12 Oct 2011

Workshop decides on network of gender experts

10 October 2011Participants at a workshop that kicked off today in the South Sudanese capital of Juba have decided to set up a national network of experts to enhance gender mainstreaming at all levels of government and society.

The five-day gender mainstreaming workshop, organized by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the country's Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare (MoGCSW), was attended by 35 senior government and civil society organization officials.

"Gender mainstreaming is an important tool for achieving gender equality and women empowerment," said MoGCSW Director General for Gender and Child Welfare Regiona Ossa Lullo during her opening remarks. "Without empowering women and ensuring their full participation at all levels of government policies, it is difficult to imagine development."

The director general stressed that gender mainstreaming from the grassroots level up would enhance the participation of women economically, socially and politically. She added that women's education was key, emphasizing that practices undermining gender equality like early marriages should be prevented by law.

Participants of the capacity building workshop included officials from the 10 state ministries of social development and chairpersons from different women's associations.
UNFPA Gender Advisor Dr. Miriam Jato said the session was aimed at building the capacity of the MoGCSW so that it could better implement gender mainstreaming. "Without mainstreaming gender... you (cannot) achieve development," Dr. Jato said.
Workshop participants are expected to gain better understanding and knowledge of the concepts, strategies and analysis of gender mainstreaming.
They will also learn how to integrate these aspects into their policies and programmes through experience sharing and fostering better approaches during extensive discussion at the workshop.
Dr. Jato commended the government's commitment to increased participation of women in the South Sudanese parliament, saying it was a promising move towards future gender equality in the new nation.
UNFPA is committed to the development of South Sudan into a model of gender equality, Dr Jato said.