Women's Peace Table in South Sudan
Updated: Jan 8, 2020
The peace table focused primarily on the empowerment of South Sudanese women, it was acknowledged that these women belonged to a number of diverse communities, all of which had to be included.
Hosted on November 12th, 2016 at the Sudanese Community Cultural & Resource Centre, 129 Dagmar Street Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada R3A 0Z3
Founded by Irene Santiago, Women’s Peace Tables were set up worldwide for the month of October or November 2016 as a campaign aimed to liberate and raise awareness.
While the peace table focused primarily on the empowerment of South Sudanese women, it was acknowledged that these women belonged to a number of diverse communities, all of
which had to be included. This meant inviting not only South Sudanese women but also South Sudanese men, youth, members of the broader African diaspora in Winnipeg, as well as members of the Council of South Sudanese Communities of Manitoba (COSSCOM) with whom #W4W collaborate. Respect was also paid to Christian and Muslim faiths, as well as Indigenous traditions as the event took place on Treaty 1 Territory, the homeland of the Métis Nation. Collectively, the peace table sought to form alliances between peoples of different faiths, ethnicities, nationalities, and genders, all in pursuit of the empowerment of women.
Creating an inclusive event meant forging connections between individuals and organizations within and outside Winnipeg’s South Sudanese community. These connections were necessary, as #W4W lacked the resources needed to independently run such an event. However, despite cooperating with other organizations, it was important to stress that the leadership roles and decision-making authority rested with #W4W. This is best exemplified by the booking of the Sudanese Community Cultural and Resource Centre, a resource controlled by the COSSCOM, who were willing to offer a venue for what was specified as a #W4W event.
Religious tensions existed, notably between Christians and Muslims, and there was much debate about whether or not religious ceremonies would be performed at the event, as well as whether or not both religions would be given an equal presence. Similarly, tribal boundaries were also a source of contention, with some members of the community raising concerns about Dinka dominance within the planning stages of the event.
For the detailed information about this event, please refer to the Report 2016-2017