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Published on 12 March 2024

No matter how long the night is, the morning will come. I am cognizant of the role and work that the women of South Sudan in peacebuilding and being custodians of social welfare. It is challenging but we have hope in each other and give each other our shoulders to lean on.

- Juan Racheal , Advocacy Coordinator for the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC).

Tell us about your role as Advocacy and Peace Coordinator?

I work as the Advocacy Coordinator for the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC).

My work is to analyse peace and transitional processes in South Sudan, in particular, the 'Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan' (R-ARCSS), while informing policies and decision-making of the church and the government.

I am engaged in contextualising and implementing of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in South Sudan and the Great Lakes Region of Africa and continue to advocate for the inclusion of women and youth in peacebuilding, governance, and climate change.

Can you explain the wider work of SSCC?

SSCC implements the women peace and security agenda, through its home grown, and church led strategy - Action Plan for Peace (APP) that aims at comprehensively advancing the women peace and security agenda through advocacy, neutral forum, healing, and reconciliation.

This initiative has worked well in the communities over the years and in the recent times, implementation of peace and security activities are conducted through the member church formed committees such as women link, women and youth peace committees who work with inter-church committees at the grassroot level.

The council has also intensified its activities in advancing advocacy on gender equality and equity, promotion of women’s rights, protection, and participation in all spheres of life through a network of trained male allies, and integration of women and youth economic empowerment initiatives to give the women economic liberty.

In preparation for the upcoming elections, the SSCC through its peace building strategy, creating an environment where there will be good governance, free and peaceful elections, which leads to orderly and peaceful transfer of power in a democratic, transparent, and accountable political decision-making processes that are inclusive of all sectors of society.

What are the challenges for women in South Sudan?

The situation in South Sudan for women has been marked by various challenges. Women in South Sudan have faced issues such as gender-based violence, conflict related sexual violence, limited access to education and healthcare, and underrepresentation in decision-making processes.

All these challenges have led to high level of trauma and a degrade in the mental health for many women. The country is experiencing communal conflicts, which has exacerbated these challenges and led to displacement and loss of livelihoods for many.

Regardless of this, women in South Sudan continue to play different roles in the transitional processes while amplifying their voices for peace and development. Women today in South Sudan succeeded in acquiring the 35% affirmative action which has encouraged women to participate in state building.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in life, it’s the power of using your own voice.

- Michelle Obama.
Find out more

You can read more about the work of South Sudan Council of Churches on their website.