Women and Post Crisis Reconstruction

 

NAIROBI, March 8, 2011 (CISA) –
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Eastern Africa is urging the Ugandan and Southern Sudanese governments to enforce laws protecting women’s economic, social and political rights, such as the right to property, the right to participation in governance and public affairs.

JRS says, “Women contribute greatly towards the recovery of countries emerging from conflict and war. However, these countries could recover faster if women were given more support.”

“Women play key roles in rebuilding communities after a crisis,” says JRS Eastern Africa Director, Fr. Frido Pflueger SJ.

“They raise children, pay school fees, work the farms and support their families. Yet, most of them are excluded from land ownership and decision making processes, have limited access to education and are frequently exposed to physical, psychological or sexual violence,” he adds.

“Women also play an important role in conflict resolution and peace-building, but they are hardly considered for leadership. Such negative cultural attitudes need to change,” says Fr. Pflueger SJ.

“Laws against early marriage need to be enforced to promote female education and women need better access to literacy, life skills and vocational training. More needs to be done to educate men on women’s rights; they have to accept that we deserve equal opportunities,” says Chandia Paska, JRS Project Director in Nimule.

After more than two decades of war and conflict, hundreds of thousands of Southern Sudanese and Ugandans have recently returned to their homes. In both countries, women disproportionately bear the burden of child care without financial or other support from the men in their communities.

They are frequently forced into early marriage, abandoned by their husbands, sexually exploited and exposed to HIV/AIDS.
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