A group of 40 women in Rumbek talked about their possible contributions to peacebuilding during an engagement organized by the UNMISS Public Information Section in Rumbek.

The women’s group from the Sacred Heart Parish was shown the documentary ‘Pray the devil back to hell’. The film tells the story of Liberian women and their efforts for the peace process. After the movie the UNMISS team comprised of the Gender, Civil Affairs and Public Information Section held a group discussion with the participants.

Issues that affect the contributions of women towards peace initiatives include a low level of education, a lack of respect for women’s rights by the society and a low level of capacity. The women asked for advocacy for women’s rights and capacity building in order to improve their situation.

The Officer-in-Charge of the Mission’s Gender Unit, Ms. Thandizo Mwambala, encouraged the women to come up with ideas on how they can contribute towards the peace process. “We are focusing on women’s participation in matters affecting your lives”, she explained. “The ideas and initiatives have to come from you, and we as UNMISS are here to support you.”

The Chairlady of the women’s group, Ms. Christina Abiba Machut, was grateful for the event. “Thank you for coming to St. Bakhita Women’s Centre. We’ve set up this center to create partnerships with organizations such as UNMISS.”

The activity is part of a larger outreach campaign, targeting religious houses in Rumbek Town. Previous events were held at the Catholic Church and the Episcopal Church for the recently observed International Day of Peace.

This article was published on the website of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).