In the Leaders of Peace program (2021-2025), PAX works together with Plan International, HealthNet TPO and the South Sudanese NGOs EVE and AMA on gender equality in South Sudan. We strive for a society in which women and girls feel safe and contribute meaningfully in peace processes. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a strategic partner.
In South Sudan, women barely participate in peace processes. This is caused by the unsafety for women in society and harmful gender norms. For example, gender-based violence is a common problem. 65% of girls and young women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence. 51% have to deal with partner violence. 52% of girls are forced to marry before the age of eighteen. Perpetrators of these crimes often go unpunished. There is a great lack of psychosocial support for victims.
The Leaders of Peace program focuses on better protection of girls and women. This includes protection against gender-based violence, improvement of facilities, and care for victims. Together with our partners in South Sudan, we advocate for better laws and regulations and their implementation. We support partner organizations by providing capacity, training and financial resources to influence policy change.
In addition, we work on long-term and sustainable change in society so that women can meaningfully participate in peace negotiations. To achieve that, we address harmful gender norms. We also encourage women to participate in peace committees.