Representatives from approximately fifty five (55) women groups which formed a Women’s Grassroots Network under the auspicious of the National Platform for Peace and Reconciliation (NPPR) have threaten to boycott child-birth unless their husbands take concrete steps to put pressure on the country’s political leadership to peacefully resolve the eight-month long crisis that is tearing the nascent country apart.
The women also promised to deny their husbands’ conjugal rights until their demands are met. One after the other, the women argued passionately that it would be completely useless for them to conceive, go through pregnancy for nine months, suffer complex labour pains and delivery, struggle to raise their sons, and then allow them to be sucked into and killed in what they consider to be senseless wars. Reads a story from NPPR News Letter.
The threat to boycott child birth was just one of many actions that the Women’s Grassroots Network proposed on the last day of a two day consultation in Juba that was sponsored by the NPPR and funded by United Nations Development Programme UNDP South Sudan. Some of the more extreme protest actions that the women proposed and or threatened to embark on include a nude demonstration on the streets of the capital Juba.
The letter stated that Women’s Grassroots Network also resolved to use state level structure of their respective civil society organizations to scale up NPPR’s effort to mobilize women to offer their gender specific perspective on how South Sudanese can frame a sustainable agenda for peace, healing and national reconciliation.
The formation of the Women’s Grassroots Network is major milestone in South Sudan’s efforts to confirm to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 which enjoins member states to routinely reach out to and engage women in all peace building efforts being undertaken in the country at any given time.