Women in government advised to mentor younger colleagues

Women in government advised to mentor younger colleagues

Executive Director for Community Empowerment Progress Organization (CEPO), Edmund Yakani, has challenged women in government to nurture younger colleagues who will succeed them.

“It is time for the women especially parliamentarians to shape an agenda for the women because they have got the opportunity to have a woman as the speaker of the august house,” Yakani told City Review in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

He stressed that those women in top government positions had invested experience in leadership which he said would make it easy for their younger colleagues to be absorbed.

“Women should learn from the mistakes in the past and come out with good leadership because every leader in this world will be remembered with his or her positive part in leadership,” he said

The activist said men in political parties rarely give assignments to female counterparts on basis that they do not perform well.

In the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity [RTGoNU], women have almost 30 per cent representation in government key positions. Currently, the women in top government positions include Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior (Vice President for Gender, Youth and Humanitarian Cluster), Jema Nunu Kumba (Speaker for the Reconstituted  Transitional National Legislative Assembly), Angelina Teny (Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs), Josephine Lagu Yanga (Minister of Agriculture and Food Security), Mary Nawai Martin (Minister of Parliamentary Affairs), Ayaa Benjamin (Minister of Gender Child and Social Welfare), Elizabeth Achuei (Minister of Health), Josephine Napwon (Ministry of Environment and Forestry), and  Awut Deng Acuil (Ministry of General Education and Instruction).

Reluctance

However, Agnes Wani, the former Member of Parliament from the defunct Terekeka State said most women in the top position were old but are not ready to empower upcoming younger women for succession.

Agnes recalled how she got a lot of disturbance when she had just joined politics by the elderly female politicians. She said those women told her that she was not capable and unfit for the position.

“We need to come up with what we call ‘women hard talk forum’ that will bring us together to discuss the way forward on how we can accommodate these women in their positions even during the elections,” Agnes said. 

One of the members of parliament, Katherine Joan, lamented that women face the problem of lack of funds to deliver services in their constituencies.

“How do you deliver services to your people if you are not given money and special assignment. We have been witnessing this to some of our women who were in the parliament,” Joan said.

There are only 33 women in the current Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly out of the total 550 lawmakers.

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