Part of a series of U.S. Institute of Peace reports on state building in South Sudan, this report asserts that equality between women and men and among women—as well as women’s security, economic empowerment, and meaningful participation—should be central benchmarks to state building in South Sudan, not only as a matter of principle, but also as a means to overturn years of conflict and marginalization. Gender equality is essential to building a strong and equitable economy and to ensuring a functional state that maximizes the full potential of all South Sudanese. The report is based on field research in Juba in February 2011 as well as previous and follow-up research by the author. It examines the risks and opportunities associated with gender and state building in South Sudan, analyzes priorities that South Sudanese women interviewees identified, and recommends ways to make the new state responsive to and reflective of the needs of all South Sudanese women and men.
Nada Mustafa Ali is a part-time faculty member in global studies at the New School University in New York and a consultant and activist. She held visiting fellow or associate positions at Fordham University, the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center, and the International Center for Research on Women. Formerly she was women’s program coordinator at the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Africa women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch, and consultant at the United Nations Development Programme. She received her PhD in government from Manchester University in 2000 and holds an MA from the American University in Cairo and a BSc from the University of Khartoum, both in political science.