Date: 25th of May – Africa Day
Venue: Sierra Burgers Park Hotel
Hosted by SALO
SAWA South Sudan was a virtual summit being streamed from Nairobi, Kenya. Its aim was to connect women activists in South Sudan with women leaders and activists from around the world. Speakers ranged from former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson to Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director at Oxfam International and Dr Koiti Emmily, medic at Juba Teaching Hospital.
It recognised the growing issues and conflict occurring in South Sudan as well as the lack of impactful responses in bringing resolution. The importance of women and their role in peace and reconciliation was raised as a paramount factor if South Sudan is ever to have sustainable peace.
The conflict itself is worsening with systematic state and militant force abuses inflicted on the civilian population. Human rights abuses are reported daily, and the issue of sexual abuse is becoming a rampant problem. With women making up over 60% of the population, events like SawaSouthSudan play a critical role in raising these issues and how we can empower more women to take an active role in fighting for human rights and for the betterment of their country.
SALO was delighted to have partners from the ANC, the South Sudanese Embassy and the Institute of Global Dialogue (IGD) present at our viewing function. There was lively conversation towards the end on the issues mentioned above as well as what more needs to be done to support South Sudan from South Africa.
The summit reached more than 115 million people on social media, with viewing events in 25 countries. The success of this campaign shows the importance of social media in spreading awareness around the globe.