30 female MPs to visit Kenya, Rwanda

30 female MPs to visit Kenya, Rwanda
Newly-appointed Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Mary Nawai Martin (photo credit: Samir Bol)

At least 30 female members of parliament in the Reconstituted National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) are expected to visit Kenya and Rwanda.

The MPs are expected to travel to Kenya and Rwanda to learn how their female counterparts in the region participate in the parliamentary proceedings.  

The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Mary Nawai Martin, told journalists in a press conference yesterday that her ministry had secured the fund from UN Women for the 30 female MPs’ visit.

“We have managed to secure funds for 30 MPs to go outside South Sudan, that is to Kenya and Rwanda for exposure visits. As MPs, we need to go outside to learn from our friends who are outside, especially female MPs,” said Nawai.

The minister said the MPs will be divided into two groups, 15 of them will go to Kenya for five days and the other 15 will travel to Rwanda to engage with the female MPs in the two countries to learn from them.

 “We need to get engaged with them to know what activities they are doing and know how they are enforcing the laws of basic service to the people so that we learn and also bring home the idea to the Republic of South Sudan,” Nawia stressed.

She said the first batch of MPs will travel to Kenya on November 20, and the second group will travel on November 29 to Rwanda.

 “So they will be able to understand or know how women can also raise the motions. How women can stand their ground and debate on what they want the government or the executive to do for them. That is what I expect from them so that when they come to Juba they will be active parliamentarians who will be able to raise motions, who will be able to debate together with their male friends in the parliament,” Nawia explained.

According to Nawai, the 30 MPs were selected from the different political parties in the government with a recommendation from the speaker of the parliament and the chief whip.

However, she said she was not aware of the exact number of female MPs in the R-TNLA.

 “I am not so sure. We have requested but the other political parties are still bringing their names, so we cannot give an impartial list when we are still waiting for the exact number.”