Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Gender Equality (Equity) and 28 States


In societies like South Sudan, the issue of gender equality (or equity) will only be possible through political appointment. This is a society in which girls are married off at 14, 15, 16 and polygamy is a cultural phenomenon.

For some people, child marriage and polygamy have little to do with representation of women in government. However, one needs to realize that the more woman gain strong social and political views the more they are given power to stand up to some dangers in men’s fancies. Any political and social power given to women together with education of girls reduce child marriage and polygamy.

Men who fancy polygamy and child marriage will continue to make sure women don’t gain any sort of power in order for some society’s patriarchal cultural practices to be maintained. Essentially, these practices are meant to help men control women and keep them as objects of their fancies in whatever way they want.

In ‘western’ societies, women are still kept culturally controlled and subjugated, however, the manner in which such subjugation is exercised is hidden within institutional and cultural practices. In universities woman are the majority in enrollment, however, when one looks at senior positions in society, men are still dominant. Of all the S&P 500 companies, only 14.2% in senior executive positions are women according to CNN Money.

A woman would sacrifice her career to support her husband’s dream. This is seen as love but it helps keep the woman in her ‘traditional’ role, in other words, subjugated. So sometimes men exploit the natural position of women as child-bearers and mothers and keep her down.

Women who’ve made it to high corporate positions either have very supportive husbands or they sacrifice the mothering aspect of womanhood in order to compete with men. For these women, their children are raised basically by house helpers.

In some exceptional cases, we have stay-home dads. The number of stay-home days has been on the rise. While things are moving in the right direction in the west, the pace is depressingly low.

When the president of South Sudan decreed the creation of 28 states in South Sudan and the would-be state citizens were asked to table potential candidates for state governors, it didn’t occur to all of us that the constitutionally mandated 25% reserved for women should be respected. All the tabled candidates were men. In their boys’ club, as their wives cooked for them, they discussed it among themselves.

Unless we make sure that our wives and daughters eat at the same table with us to allow them to have opinions with us, woman will continue to lag behind. In South Sudanese communities, you hardly see woman and men sitting together in the living room or on the dining table unless there’s a special occasion. How do we expect woman to express interest when we confine them to the kitchen? How do we expect women to be represented if we only see them as objects to be married off at 14 and subjugated in polygamist marriages? Polygamy robs a woman of her voice as an equal as it equates one man to X number of women.

I sound naïve in this article but we ignore these things only to complain about them later. Of all the 28 states, perhaps each state assumed the 25% reserved for women would come from the other states or it just didn’t matter at all to them.

What gives me hope is that we are talking about the exclusion of woman in governorship positions. I know we only had one woman governor and none after Nyandeeng Malek of Warrap was removed by a presidential decree.

According Grant Thornton Report, women in senior management is at 37% in Eastern Europe, 35% in Southeast Asia, and 43% in Russia. Even the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries lead the developed: 32 %  vs. 21%.

This shows that we can do better to change the position of women in South Sudan.


ON CULTURAL IDENTITY & BELONGING

Dear Melbournians, the South Sudanese people to be precise. Do you think we have seen it all? Do you think we have seen that: I mean in the aftermath of yesteryears, in regard to our culture and the notions around identity and belonging? Do you think we have seen the true reaping of what we sowed years ago? Do you really think so? After all, did we really sow anything like seeds and that there’s something to be reaped? Did we really live it out well to be seen today?

I am sorry to have bothered you, my potential readers, with questions regarding our social, economic, and political location in our host society: Australia. I think we have not seen it all and as a whole: The idea that people are bound by certain values and beliefs of significance to them. This requires cooperation and role-specific obligations on the roles of every man and woman across a given people and their society.

TOLERANCE & INCLUSION


While it is possible for us to racially discriminate or judge people we know, the chances of judging people we know diminish significantly the more we know them. An easy example of the importance of understanding others is the attitude people develop when they want to harm others or when they want to deny them something valuable. Essentially, before you fight someone, you insult them. Insults are attempts at diminishing the value of people, an attempt at estranging them, as Toni Morrison argued in The Origin of Others. It is easy to discriminate against strangers or make others strangers or dehumanized in order to discriminate against them.

Transformational Leadership, Inclusive Institutions and Service Provision

Leadership, given what is happening now in South Sudan, and generally in Africa, fascinates me. And it fascinates me not in a good way but because of the sociopolitical and socioeconomic ills facing the African continent and most of the so-called 'Third World.' To me, South Sudan, now, is a classic case.

Rebellion by disaffected politico-military leaders and repression by the government of South Sudan in Juba have stunted institutional development and leadership growth. This has made service provision almost irrelevant as political survival has taken primacy and supremacy. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

‘Black’ as an Identity Oversimplification and Mockery

Black as a universalized cultural identity of the African Person (AP)* is a residual effect of slave and colonial mentality; a racial/race paradigm. It is a malady I call, conservatively speaking, stuck-in-the-past syndrome of color constraints. Black could be an on-the-street ‘social identifier’ of race figures not a meaningful phenomenon of deep cultural identification on a universal scale.