On June 7th, 2023, a historic moment took place as Honourable Aya Benjamin Warille, South Sudan’s Minister of Gender, officially deposited the instruments of ratification for the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, commonly known as the Maputo Protocol, with the African Union Commission. This significant action marked the Republic of South Sudan as the 44th Member State of the African Union to ratify this crucial Treaty. Remarkably, this ratification aligned with the 20th anniversary celebration of the Treaty on July 11th, 2023.
The South Sudanese government’s decision to ratify the Maputo Protocol, after years of hesitation, was greatly influenced by extensive advocacy efforts from both national and regional women’s rights groups, notably the We Cannot Wait Coalition. This collective effort ultimately persuaded President Salva Kiir to sign all the instruments of ratification. With this paramount event now realized, there is a palpable sense of anticipation for the potential changes that may follow in South Sudan’s legal landscape.
Since then, SIHA’s South Sudan team has been active in organizing various events to advance gender equality and women’s rights. Notably, on August 7th, a Local Gender Forum took place in Wau. This forum served as a platform for discussing not only the important topic of women’s economic justice but also for celebrating the recent ratification of the Maputo Protocol and its potential implications for women in the country.