JUBA, MARCH 17, 2023 (SUDANS POST) – South Sudan’s civil society watchdog, the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), announced on Friday that it has launched a very important initiative to protect women’s human rights defenders in the world’s youngest country.
Edmund Yakani, prominent activist and the Executive Director of CEPO, said the initiative was launched at the end of a three-day training organized by CEPO on digital security, safety and advocacy for protection of women rights’ defenders.
The training – Yakani said – targeted those engaged in the protection of women’s rights, land rights, youth rights, gender-based violence, disability rights, media, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and brought together at least 20 women rights defenders from six of the country’s ten states.
“This platform will be of a great advantage on safety, security and protection of women human rights defenders and activities across South Sudan,” Yakani said, adding that the initiative was funded by the Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI).
“Women Defenders Protection Net is the outcome of several attempts to nurture a platform that prioritizes protection of women human rights defenders and activists,” Yakani said.
CEPO’s officer in charge of Access to Justice Elizabeth Daniel Lubanga said women human rights defenders continue to be victims, of deep inequality, discrimination and abuse since they are frequently the targets of social and political hostility
“The aim of the workshop was to strengthen the capacity of Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) and mitigate the impact of online and offline attacks against WHRDs, provide knowledge on mitigating gender-based attacks, criminalization of their work, as well as offer practical strategies for enhancing WHRD’s safety on and offline,” she said.
Yakani said that the training also provided basic safety tools for preventing and responding to attacks and that participants were also informed on the cybercrime and computer misuse provisional order which was passed in 2021.