Photo by : African Union
South Sudan’s President, H.E. Salva Kiir, signed the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol), one of the most advanced treaties on the protection of women’s and girls’ rights anywhere in the world into law on 24th February 2023 which was later launched on 16 July 2023 in the country.
The ratification of the Maputo Protocol in South Sudan provides a legal framework for protecting women’s rights and advancing gender equality in light of the devastating impact of conflict on women and girls in South Sudan including high levels of sexual and gender-based violence, including rape, abduction, and forced marriage. The Protocol recognizes the need for women’s participation in peacebuilding processes and calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women.
One of the key provisions of the Protocol is the recognition of women’s right to participate in decision making processes at all levels of government. In South Sudan, women have traditionally been excluded from political participation, and their voices have not been heard in peace negotiations. By ratifying the Protocol, South Sudan has committed to ensuring that women are included in all aspects of decision-making, including in peacebuilding processes.
The inclusion of women in peacebuilding processes is crucial because women have unique perspectives and experiences that can contribute to more sustainable and effective peace agreements. Women are often the most affected by conflict, and they have valuable insights into the root causes of conflict and potential solutions.
The Protocol also provides a framework for addressing the high levels of violence against women in South Sudan. It recognizes that violence against women
is a human rights violation and calls for the elimination of all forms of violence, including domestic violence, rape, and female genital mutilation.
By implementing the provisions of the Protocol, South Sudan can take concrete steps to address gender-based violence and provide support to survivors