This week, women from Parliament, the Ministries, and civil society organisations started a crucial dialogue on how to protect and operationalise women’s land rights.
The three-day workshop, led by the Parliamentary Land Committee and the Ministry of Gender, brought together over 100 female participants, including representatives from the regions, to identify the challenges women face to own, access, and inherit land and provide recommendations to overcome these challenges. The workshop is supported by IOM, UNMISS Rule of Law, UNDP, FAO, UN Habitat, UNHCR, UN Women, the HLP Technical Working Group, and Voice for Change.
In preparation for the workshop, hundreds of women across the country participated in focus group discussions on women’s land rights. The results of these focus group discussions will inform the workshop discussions and help ensure that future policies reflect realties on the ground. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to share their concerns and recommended solutions with their male counterparts from the Government, civil society organizations, and traditional leaders. This crucial dialogue will allow participants to identify practical responses to help women and girls to assert their land rights.
Honorable Majok, the chair of the Parliamentary Land Committee that convened the workshop with the Ministry of Gender, inspired workshop participants by telling them: “Today you have all become agents of change…[Y]our recommendations on how to protect women’s land rights and close the gap between law and practice will help the women of South Sudan to build sustainable livelihoods and durable peace for the generation of tomorrow”.
Consultations on the draft Land Policy conducted in 2011-12 recommended that a women’s land rights workshop be held in Juba to ensure that the challenges women face to assert their land rights could be heard. Today’s workshop fulfills this recommendation. The workshop will also identify practical responses to help women and girls to more effectively assert their land rights, including preparation of a 2019 Consultation Report and comprehensive recommendations to strengthen the national land policy that will be presented at a Land Policy Workshop in June.
Over the past year, UNMISS Rule of Law has provided technical support to the Parliamentary Land Committee to strengthen legal and policy frameworks protecting women’s land rights. UNMISS Rule of Law commends the workshop participants for their commitment to identifying concrete solutions to uphold women’s land rights and pledges its continued support to the Government in its important efforts to strengthen and operationalize women’s land rights across South Sudan.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).