Building Peace in South Sudan: Progress, Problems, and Prospects


Mutasa, Charles, and Kudrat Virk. 2017. Building Peace in South Sudan: Progress, Problems, and Prospects. Cape Town: Centre for Conflict Resolution. 

Authors: Charles Mutasa, Kudrat Virk

Keywords: gender equality, peacemaking, gender identity, peace negotitations, women's rights, sexual violence, political violence


Even before the outbreak of the current conflict, translating constitutional principles on gender equality into practice was a formidable challenge in South Sudan, which has since been exacerbated by the ongoing violence. Patriarchal gender norms and traditional practices, such as the payment of bride prices and cattle-raiding among pastoral communities, are deeply implicated as drivers of conflict and insecurity in South Sudan. Similarly, sexual and gender-based violence was widespread in South Sudan prior to December 2013, but has since increased. Women and children compose a majority of those displaced by the ongoing conflict, including the over 214,000 people sheltering in UN protection-ofcivilian (PoC) sites across the country.
Meanwhile, the role of women as actual and potential agents of peacebuilding in South Sudan has been neglected. South Sudanese women, though, campaigned actively to strengthen their representation in the Addis Ababa peace negotiations and the incorporation of gender-based perspectives in the resultant agreement; and have since continued advocacy efforts to strengthen their voices in peacebuilding processes. However, greater efforts are needed to ensure that their participation in decision-making structures is both adequate and meaningful. More sustained efforts – such as the creation of UN Women–supported rural empowerment centres – are also needed to bridge the gap between the country’s female elite and women at the grassroots level.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Conflict, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: South Sudan

Year: 2017

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