Month: June 2022

Month: June 2022

GNWP condemns the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

June 25, 2022

New York, USA. In the wake of the United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade – the landmark Constitutional ruling that guaranteed a woman’s right to access abortion – the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) condemns this violation of fundamental human dignity and agency along with millions of people across the nation. GNWP stands in solidarity with those whose bodily autonomy has been imperiled by this judgment, particularly people of color, especially Black and Indigenous communities, individuals with disabilities, the economically disadvantaged, and other marginalized and historically vulnerable groups.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights, including the right to an abortion, are essential to a free, just and equitable society. Studies have shown that restrictions on abortion rights only serve to harm women and those who require reproductive health services. GNWP condemns the weaponization and politicization of women’s bodies and healthcare choices for power and control. Undoubtedly, the ramifications of this dereliction of human dignity will impact globally, including in countries suffering from violent conflicts and humanitarian crises.

Central to our mission is the goal to build equal, resilient and peaceful communities and to support women in leading the way to a better future, none of which is possible without the right to bodily autonomy. GNWP continues to advance efforts to ensure that all women have full access to the human right to sexual and reproductive health, free from the undue burdens of stigma or barriers. 

We mourn this dark moment in American history. Still, we also derive hope and strength from feminists, women’s rights activists and gender equality allies in the United States and globally who continue to fight for the right to choose. We join you in the ongoing struggle for the full realization of women’s rights and human rights! 

GNWP Reports from Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement, Northwestern Uganda

27 May 2022

By Mavic Cabrera-Balleza*

“We are the future of South Sudan! We want to go home, and we appeal to President Salva Kiir to ensure safety and security in our village,” – young South Sudanese refugee women in Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement, Uganda

As part of its Feminist and Localized Humanitarian Action Program, the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, in partnership with Eve Organization for Women Development, facilitated a workshop on peacebuilding, women’s rights, and gender-responsive humanitarian action with young South Sudanese women refugees on 27 May 2022. The young women’s responses to the training were very positive and inspiring. They expressed their longing to go back home and live peaceful and productive lives. However, they also know that it may take a long while before that becomes a reality because of the sluggish implementation of the 2018 revitalized peace agreement and the South Sudanese government’s lack of political will. Despite the limited resources and facilities at the refugee settlement, the young women want to learn how to read and write better and develop life skills. While they don’t mind walking to school, which takes several kilometers, they wish there were more classrooms and teachers. There is only one teacher for more than 100 students. There are very few classrooms where several grade levels must share one room. “Sometimes we just stand outside because the classroom is so full!” said one of the young women.

Thirty young women aged 17 to 30 participated in the workshop. Out of the 30, at least 20 already had children or were pregnant. They identified early pregnancy as one factor that prevents them from going to school and pursuing other opportunities. They want to avoid unwanted pregnancies, and they want to decide over their own bodies.

GNWP and Eve Organization plan to advocate with the Ugandan Government authorities to build more classrooms and hire more teachers. The two organizations also plan to organize sex education and identify other groups or institutions that can provide reproductive health care services.

The young women also discussed their livelihood projects. They want to earn incomes to support themselves and their families. GNWP provided them with seed funds for their projects. The students in the group also received funds to buy school supplies.

Hon. Betty Ogwaro, a Member of the National Parliament of South Sudan joined GNWP and Eve Organization on the trip to Bidi Bidi. She exchanged ideas with the South Sudanese women refugees, particularly on how to achieve peace in South Sudan. Hon. Ogwaro serves on the Boards of GNWP and Eve Organization.                                                                                                                           

GNWP and Eve Organization will continue to collaborate to enhance the South Sudanese young women’s leadership potential and develop their skills. They will also support the young women to participate in the management of the refugee settlement and implement the UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security and Youth, Peace, and Security in South Sudan and Uganda. 

GNWP thanks the Austrian Development Agency and the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation for their support. 

* Mavic Cabrera-Balleza is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders.