Incumbent TGONU fails to respect 35% quota for women’s participation in appointments of state governors

Thursday, July 2, 2020
Photo by Kieran Doherty/Oxfam

We welcome the appointment of eight state governors after delay, negotiations and eventually compromise by the parties to the 2018 revitalized peace agreement. These long-awaited appointments are an important step towards implementing the peace agreement and steering the country towards peace.

However, the appointments have so far fallen short of the 35% quota for women’s representation in government required by the revitalized peace agreement. Zubin Zaman, Oxfam Interim Country Director in South Sudan, said:

“We call upon the parties to honor the allotment for women in spirit and letter so that peace will prevail. Women have contributed immensely to efforts for peace and stability in South Sudan. They have participated actively in the national peace talks, in supporting implementation of the peace agreement, and in local peacebuilding efforts. Women are key agents of change. Gender diversity in leadership is critical to further economic, social and political progress for all in South Sudan.

“It is clear that based on the agreement, women should take at least three out of the ten gubernatorial positions. It is our hope that there will be three women governors in South Sudan in accordance with the peace agreement, which is a road map for reform and stability in South Sudan.”

These appointments come at a time when the country is battling the COVID-19 pandemic, intercommunal fighting and an increase in sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls. Earlier in the week, the UN Special Envoy to South Sudan warned that Covid-19 poses a serious threat to South Sudan's already fragile health system. He said that the collapse of the health system could lead to a devastating increase in deaths that could be greater than the loss of life from COVID-19 itself, due to disruptions to vaccinations, maternal health services and routine treatment for diseases such as malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia.

The parties to the agreement will be nominating two additional governors for appointment soon, to make a total of ten. From the six governors nominated by the incumbent TGONU and appointed, none are women. The SPLM-IO nominated one woman, who has been appointed governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal state. Oxfam is calling on the parties to the agreement to respect the quota for women’s participation provided in the agreement. During this transitional period, the agreement serves as a key pillar that if honored, will help stabilize South Sudan and support the ordinary citizens who have endured decades of suffering and conflict to rebuild livelihoods and thrive.

Contact information: 

Dominic Kango Amos

Senior Media and Campaign Officer Juba