Cultural and traditional practices can marginalise women and girls and limit their participation in family and social life. Rape and pervasive domestic violence are serious threats which unfortunately elicit only limited government response. Access to justice and services for survivors are extremely limited – a result of police disinterest, a lack of specialist training, confusion about South Sudanese law (particularly on domestic violence), fear of stigmatisation among survivors and, in some locations, refusal to acknowledge abuses.
Saferworld’s gender work in South Sudan promotes policies that support empowerment and address gender inequality between women, men, girls and boys. By mobilising communities and raising awareness through drama performances and community discussions, we challenge and address gender norms and perceptions that drive conflict. Through workshops and community dialogues, we engage with traditional and community leaders, and with young people’s, women’s and religious groups.
"There were rumours that if we go to other areas of the city, we would be killed. We wanted to break the chains of fear, suspicion and mistrust among our people."
Agum Majak, a member of a women’s group organising inter-ethnic exchanges