Five female ministers and five female deputies have recently been appointed to the new government of South Sudan President Salva Kiir. The appointments came as something of a surprise in contradicting a previous presidential order. The presidential cabinet will include 33 officials.
The change in policy to appoint the women was reported to be in response to pressure from women’s groups that claimed a lack of fair representation in the government and shortcomings in affirmative action policies.
Abuk Ayite, a member of the national assembly, publicly thanked President Kiir for recognising a 25 percent affirmative action level for women and for responding to calls for the action. Ayite said called the appointments a “wise decision” and added that “we continue to support him.”
About South Sudan:
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011 after a 2005 peace deal that ended the longest civil war in Africa. A vast majority of South Sudanese voted in a 2011 referendum to secede from Sudan.
The nation stands to benefit from Sudan's oil wealth, but disputes and a lack of economic development cloud its immediate future. Unlike the mostly Muslim population of Sudan, South Sudanese practice traditional religions, and a minority are Christians.