By Kye Makyeli
South Sudan has become even more deprived than before after emerging as a newly sovereign State in the world, with many of its challenges disproportionately affecting women and children. Gender relations in South Sudan are shaped by the social and economic realities of being one of the world’s least developed countries and by decades of conflict. Crown The Woman is a young women-founded and women-led newly registered women’s organization whose mission is to recognize, develop the potential and promote the strength of women within communities socially, economically and politically for sustainable and equitable development.
There are more men than women in South Sudan; 52% male and 48% women, compared to the global average of 51% female to 49% male. This is not a force of nature, but rather a direct result of over 39 years of conflict since South Sudan’s independence. These years of conflict have not only deprived women of their dependence on their husbands and children, but the disturbing post-war society (coupled with discriminatory cultural traditions and abject poverty, systematically undermining the promotion of equal rights) has hindered women’s ability to actively participate in the development of the new nation.
With an alarming 90% illiteracy rate among women 50% of girls are forced into marriage – which contributes to the highest maternal-mortality rate in the world. Though the number of girls going to school has increased over the years since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, the percentage of girls compared to boys at school lingers at 37%. This number severely declines for education past the primary level, only 1% finish primary school. Crown The Woman focuses on projects that support and encourage girl child education with the intention of bridging the wide gender gap in education in South Sudan.
For more information visit crownthewoman.org or follow them on Twitter at @CrownTheWoman.