This is a fascinating post by openDemocracy that I recently received in my regular Overseas Development Institute (ODI) newsletter. [By the way if haven't already the ODI institute's newsletter is a great resources for academics and practitioners in the field of development - that ends my plug].
The article looks at the implications of an independent Southern Sudan for women and their participation in public life. The article has a particular emphasis on the extent of women’s ability to run for public office and assume positions of leadership in NGOs, political organizations, the government, etc.
The article notes the difference between the North and the South in terms of attracting the participation of women in public life:
While the North has a longer and more established history of women’s activism, the enabling environment in the South appears to be a more open one. This partly reflects the fact that the Government of Southern Sudan has adopted a formal commitment to advance issues of women’s empowerment, in line with the legacy of John Garang, who supported women’s equality as part of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army project.
Read the full openDemocracy article here: Women’s citizenship: implications of the Southern Sudan referendum | openDemocracy.
It will be interesting to track the progress of women in Southern as the votes for succession are verified. If this hurdle is cleared, as it likely will, when Southern Sudan becomes the Republic of Southern Sudan the participation of women in politics, the economy and the public sector will be the next big thing to watch.