Home | News    Wednesday 27 November 2019

UN calls for enactment of anti-GBV laws in South Sudan

November 26, 2019 (JUBA) – South Sudan should enact an anti-gender based violence law by 2020 and establish specialized gender-based violence centers in the country by 2021, a top United Nations official said on Monday.

JPEG - 91.8 kb
The UNFPA Country Representative for South Sudan, Dr. Mary Atieno (UNFPA photo)

Speaking at the launch of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence in Juba, Mary Otieno, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) South Sudan representative said the Security Council recognizes sexual violence as a deliberate tactic of war.

She called for the elimination of all forms of sexual violence, particularly rape.

According to Otieno, one in every three women, globally, will experience physical or sexual violence, including rape.

“Violence against women remains one of the most widespread human rights violations, yet one of the least prosecuted crimes,” she explained.

The senior UN official, however, said that although equality between women and men is guaranteed in the constitutions of 139 countries and territories, all too often women are denied justice and protection from violence.

“This failure does not stem from lack of knowledge but rather a lack of investment and political will to meet women’s needs and protect their fundamental rights,” said Otieno.

“It is time for us to join hands and support governments to take full responsibility”, she stressed.

Meanwhile Otieno urged South Sudan government to enact the Family Law and Children Act by 2022 and develop the Women Development Fund by the fiscal year 2021-2022.

She further appealed to government to allow unimpeded access to humanitarian actors to provide basic social service tools, including sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence to the crisis-affected populations.

This year’s event was organized on the theme, “Join Hands: Stand against Rape”.