In 2005, South Sudan adopted a minimum of 25 percent women representation quota in its interim constitution. Following the independence, this quota was maintained, with the Transitional Constitution devoting three clauses to this important policy. In 2013, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), the governing party, proposed raising this quota to increase women’s participation in public life. In the recently signed peace agreement, known as the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS), this long propagated quota increase was implemented—stipulated as 35 percent. Article 1(1.12.2) and Article 5(1.1) of the R-ARCSS guarantee 35 percent participation of women in the Executive and in the Transitional Justice Institutions. Moreover, Article 1(1.4.4) states that the “[provisions] of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan and ARCSS on participation of women (35%) in the Executive shall be observed.”
To help foster a better understanding on how South Sudan has been grappling with the issue of gender inequality in the last few years, this weekly review highlights the experience of implementing pro-gender parity statutes and policies. After exploring the gaps between the ideals and practice, as far as the implementation is concerned, the review suggests what could be done to realize the fundamental objectives of these policy commitments, especially as the country moves to restore stability. Thus, of importance are strategies through which the newly introduced quota system, the 35 percent, can be implemented.