“My award signifies women’s effort to build sustainable peace in South Sudan”

Rita Martin Lopidia, Executive Director, Eve Organization for Women Development.

A Leader of South Sudan woman-led organization has described her nomination for women peace building award, saying “it signifies an effort women have made to build a sustainable peace that a nation should celebrate”.
Ms. Rita Martin Lopidia, a Co-founder of Eve Organization for Women Development, is among the ten finalists nominated for the 2020 women peacebuilding award.
Last week, the U.S. Institute of Peace announced the ten finalists for Women Building Peace Award. Among the nominees, five were from Africa. The award winners will receipt 10,000 US dollars during a virtual ceremony to be held on the 15 of September.
Lopidia said her award shows the recognition of tremendous work women has done in South Sudan. She said most of the news that comes out of this country is full of sad news, and it is time they get such excitement or recognition, it tells the world that not always bad things come out from South Sudan, she narrated.
Ms. Lopidia said women have always been a victim of violence, displacement, and conflict which she says is created by men. She said the problem of this country could not be solved by those who carry guns alone.
“Most of the time, people will say that man created the war, but women carry the consequences. This is the reality we see every day in South Sudan. I always tell people that most of our men go to war during this conflict, but the major responsibility is always left to women to carry”. Rita said.
The nominee expressed concern that South Sudan women are disappointed with the actions of some political parties who failed to fulfill their commitment to 35% women representation in government.
Rita threatens the parties who violated women’s rights in the peace agreement should not expect their votes during the general election at the end of the transition period.
“At the end of this transition, we are irate (women), and there will be an election. The way you’re treating women in this country, we will see ourselves at the ballots box, and we will know the parties that don’t support women,” she stated.
The revitalized peace agreement parties signed in 2018 stipulated that women should be given 35 percent representation at all levels of government in South Sudan.

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