South Sudan adopted its first National Action Plan (NAP) in 2015 for the period 2015-2020. The NAP was developed by the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare (MGCSW) through a participatory process that included broad consultations with various peace and security stakeholders and supported by UN Women. Additionally, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) acted as the co-chair of the development process, collecting and harmonizing views from government institutions, development partners, United Nations agencies, civil society organisations, women’s groups and religious and traditional leaders. The overall goal of the NAP is to strengthen the participation of women in peace and security efforts and facilitate the creation of an enabling environment for their leadership and political participation in conflict resolution and allow for more inclusive, just and sustainable peace, recovery and reconstruction processes, where a gender perspective is integrated into the design and implementation of all policies related to peace and security. The NAP has an implementation matrix that breaks down objectives to corresponding actions, outcomes, indicators, key actors, and a time frame. Nevertheless, the NAP does not have an allocated budget, instead tasking implementing actors to develop a financing plan.
South Sudan reported on the implementation of its NAP, as well as WPS commitments, in its national reporting for Beijing+25 and in preparation for CSW64 (2020). Specifically, the country reported that the Gender Machinery in South Sudan is monitoring the implementation of the NAP as well as the Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) on gender-based violence (GBV) among other human rights violations. South Sudan additionally reported on women’s participation in peace in the country. In the build-up to the renewed peace efforts, 43 South Sudanese women organizations and other NGOs working on women empowerment and peace signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on October 21, 2018 to collaborate and work together. In the renewed 2018 peace effort, one of the mediators was a woman and female leaders of civil society groups served as official observers. Women made up 25 percent of official delegates, and members of the Women’s Coalition (p. 82).
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011. The most recent armed conflict in the country’s history was the civil war, which lasted from 2013 until 2018 and resulted in thousands of casualties and displaced people. The war had a disproportionate impact on women, with sexual violence used as a weapon of war. Women made concerted efforts to be included in the peace process and had relative success in their efforts. Women comprised 15% of delegates leading the negotiations for the 2015 peace agreement while women comprised 25% of delegates during the 2018 negotiations. While all signatories representing conflict parties in the 2018 peace agreement were men, women constituted seven out of 17 (41%) of civil society signatories.
National Action Plan (2015-2020)
Global Gender Gap Index 2020
Arms Trade Treaty Not Ratified
Military expenditure (2019)
$86.5 million USD
Explore South Sudan's National Action Plan
Civil society organisations and women’s groups and religious participated in the participatory process of developing the NAP in South Sudan, including through consultation with the various peace and security stakeholders and supported by UN WOMEN. The process, led by the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare (MGCSW), with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Civil society organisations were also included in the National Steering Committee that led the development of the NAP. At the same time, no specific civil society organisations were mentioned in the NAP.
WILPF does not have a country section in South Sudan and was therefore not involved in the development of the NAP.
The NAP has been developed through a rigorous participatory process involving broad consultation of various peace and security stakeholders and supported by UN WOMEN. The process, led by the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare (MGCSW), with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) as the co-chair, has collected and harmonised views from government institutions, development partners, United Nations agencies, civil society organisations, women’s groups and religious and traditional leaders.
The National Steering Committee, that includes civil society organisations, coordinate and monitors the South Sudanese NAP implementation. Civil society organisations also listed as the key actors for implementations of strategic objectives of the NAP under each category.
To facilitate the identification of priority areas of immediate action for improving the lives of women and children in South Sudan and ensuring increased investment for strengthened implementation of UNSCR 1325, a National Steering Committee comprised of government ministries, commissions, United Nations agencies and civil society organisations was formed. The National Steering Committee, which will continue to coordinate and monitor the South Sudan National Action Plan implementation, is chaired by the the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare (MGCSW).
NAP Monitoring and Evaluation
Civil society does not have a specific role in monitoring and evaluation of the NAP implementation.
Implementation of the National Action Plan for UNSCR 1325 will be monitored by an inter-ministerial committee comprised of ve Government ministries, namely, the MGCSW, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. The Inter-Ministerial Committee will be chaired by the MGCSW, with the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Justice as co-chairs, and will meet twice a year (every six months) to evaluate the progress of National Action Plan implementation and receive the mid-year reports from the National Steering Committee. The Inter-Ministerial Committee will also receive and approve the National Annual Report on UNSCR 1325 and submit it to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who will then present it to the Council of Ministers to have it tabled for debate in Parliament.
The implementation period for the Sudanese National Plan of Action is five years (2015-2020).
The National Action Plan is based on the mandate of UNSCR 1325 and the activities to be implemented fall under the four pillars of the resolution, as follows:
- Prevention: Reduction in con ict and all forms of structural and physical violence against women, particularly sexual and gender-based violence;
- Participation: Inclusion of women and women’s interests in decision-making processes related to the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts;
- Protection: Women’s safety, physical and mental health and economic security are assured and their human rights respected; and
- Relief and recovery: Women’s specific needs are met in conflict and post-conflict situations.
Each pillar has different actions assigned. For example, Strategic Goal 1 (Increase women’s effective participation in leadership and peacebuilding and strengthen gender perspectives in the South Sudan’s state-building and reconstruction processes) includes the following actions:
- Examine and review all laws, policies and programmes within South Sudan’s socio-economic and political context in order to promote and guarantee equal opportunities and active and meaningful participation of women in politics and in positions of power and decision-making positions, taking into consideration the special needs and interests of women with disabilities;
- Promote equal access and opportunities for women and girls, including those with disabilities, to education, vocational and technical training, in-service training and skills development by deliberately addressing the roots of their poverty to enable them to engage in meaningful employment, attain economic empowerment and effectively participate in the country’s rebuilding and democratic processes;
- Improve women’s economic status by ensuring that reconstruction programmes undertaken in South Sudan equitably benefit women and girls, including those with disabilities; women are invited to participate and contribute to government and donor discussions and decisions taken on recovery and reconstruction projects to be financed and implemented;
- Actively involve women in the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) programme and ensure that all those involved in planning for DDR consider the different needs of female and male ex-combatants and the WAAF/G, and take into account the needs of their dependents.
Each strategic goal has a number of listed indicators. For example, the first goal, “Review all laws (statutory and customary) that undermine or hinder women’s participation in decision-making and governance in their bid to actively engage in South Sudan’s recovery, development and democratic processes ”, includes several indicators:
- Number of laws reviewed;
- Number of sensitization campaigns held to consult with and inform traditional leaders and communities on negative cultural practices that hinder women’s leadership potential;
- Number of women actively involved in governance and recovery processes.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee meets twice a year (every six months) to evaluate the progress of National Action Plan implementation and receive the mid-year reports from the National Steering Committee. The Inter-Ministerial Committee also receives and approves the National Annual Report on UNSCR 1325 and submits it to the Minister of Foreign A airs, who will then present it to the Council of Ministers to have it tabled for debate in Parliament. Every two years the Government compiles a report on UNSCR 1325 and submitS it to the United Nations Secretary General as required under the resolution. A mid-term evaluation of implementation will be conducted in 2016 after the compilation of the report to the United Nations Secretary General and a final review will be prepared in the fourth year (2018) to pave the way for the development of a revised National Action Plan.
Based on the National Action Plan, government institutions and implementing partners will develop detailed activity plans related to their areas of operation and budget for these activities, as well as take full financial responsibility for their implementation.
The proposed National Action Plan activities are not restrictive and the exibility provided for allows room for stakeholders to adjust their programming so as to rapidly respond to changing environments and conflict-related developments in the country. This flexibility also permits the different actors to utilise new windows of opportunity in funding that may emerge in the course of this action plan’s years.
Strategic Objective 4 under the Strategic Goal 1 (Increase women’s effective participation in leadership and peacebuilding and strengthen gender perspectives in the South Sudan’s state-building and reconstruction processes) assigns all relevant actors to actively involve women in the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) programme and ensure that all those involved in planning for DDR consider the different needs of female and male ex-combatants and take into account the needs of their dependents.