In recent years, South Sudanese women have made significant strides in their push for inclusion in national peace processes. Women negotiators were crucial in shaping the 2018 peace agreement—revitalizing what had been a stalled and contentious process—and also secured a new quota that requires 35 percent of government representatives to be women, opening the door for a more expansive role in national affairs. But despite these signs of progress, women’s voices remain conspicuously absent among publicly written narratives of South Sudan, which continue to be dominated by the opinions, analysis, and stories of male writers.

Women wait at a food distribution site in a United Nations camp outside Juba, South Sudan. (Kassie Bracken/The New York Times)
Women wait at a food distribution site in a United Nations camp outside Juba, South Sudan. (Kassie Bracken/The New York Times)

No Time to Mourn” is an anthology featuring short stories, memoirs, poems, artwork, and photography from 39 women living in South Sudan and across the diaspora. Their literary and artistic expressions provide deeply personal insights into the experiences of South Sudanese women, particularly in relation to conflict, displacement, and patriarchal gender norms. The authors and artists, through words and images, offer a clear vision of the way forward for South Sudan and exemplify the African Union’s theme for the year 2021: “Arts, Culture, and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want.”

In celebration of International Women’s Day, please join USIP, Oxfam International, and FEMRITE—the Ugandan Women Writers Association—for a discussion about how women’s literary voices can contribute to building a deeper understanding of the impact of conflict in South Sudan and inspire progress towards peace.

Take part in the conversation on Twitter with #NoTimeToMourn.

Speakers

Aluel Atem
Program Officer, Applied Conflict Transformation, U.S. Institute of Peace

Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins 
Founder and Executive Director, Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS)

Rita Lopidia
Executive Director, EVE Organization for Women Development; 2020 Women Building Peace Award Recipient, U.S. Institute of Peace

Nyachangkuoth Rambang Tai
Special Assistant, Chairperson Advisor to the African Union; Youth Country Liaison, South Sudan, U.S. Institute of Peace

Susan Stigant
Director, Africa Center, U.S. Institute of Peace

Registration Type
Your Information
Work Information
How did you hear about this event?

For questions about accessibility please contact EventRegistration@usip.org. Kindly provide at least three business days advance notice of need for accommodations.

Related Publications

In South Sudan, the Hope and Pain of Nonviolence

In South Sudan, the Hope and Pain of Nonviolence

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

By: Yeng Lambo

After 3 a.m., my cellphone rang with the voices of relatives shouting that South Sudan’s spasms of violence had struck our family. In the night, armed youths of a rival community had ambushed a cattle camp of my clan, killing my cousins and other young cowherds as they slept, and stealing more than 400 cattle. Men from of my clan were gathering guns to race into the darkness to counterattack. If my country is ever to have peace, we must break such cycles of vengeance. So, I pleaded with my elder aunts and uncles to prevent that battle. I still do not know if we have truly succeeded.

Type: Blog

Nonviolent Action

In South Sudan, Civic Activists Take On COVID

In South Sudan, Civic Activists Take On COVID

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

By: Nelson Kwaje; Nicholas Zaremba

For South Sudan, COVID-19 is simply the newest plague. The world’s youngest country already faces civil war, repression, displacement, economic collapse, climate change, hunger—even swarming locusts. South Sudan’s people enter the fight against COVID under nearly the worst conditions of human development, and with 39 percent of them displaced by warfare. With a government that has been unable to provide even basic services, South Sudanese must rely on their emerging civil society, and international partnerships, to organize much of their response to the pandemic. Yet COVID now threatens vital international help for such grassroots campaigns.

Type: Blog

Nonviolent Action; Global Health

An African Activist Builds Peace with Youth—and Refugees

An African Activist Builds Peace with Youth—and Refugees

Thursday, June 11, 2020

By: James Rupert

Gatwal Gatkuoth was about 11 years old when war in Sudan forced him to flee hundreds of miles, alone, to Uganda as a refugee. Now he works to end wars. When COVID struck Uganda, the nation’s sudden shutdown caught Gatkuoth touring remote refugee camps, seeking ways to help Africa’s largest refugee population survive the pandemic. So when the U.N. Security Council called him weeks ago to ask his advice on improving efforts to build peace, Gatkuoth’s briefing over an unstable cellphone line came straight from a fragile front line of human need.

Type: Blog

Global Health; Youth

COVID-19 and Conflict: Horn of Africa

COVID-19 and Conflict: Horn of Africa

Thursday, April 30, 2020

By: Susan Stigant

USIP is closely following the effects of the novel coronavirus around the world and we’re particularly concerned about its effects in fragile states and conflict zones, which are especially vulnerable to the impacts of these kinds of outbreaks. This week, our Susan Stigant looks at what new challenges have emerged in the Horn of Africa since the outbreak began.

Type: Blog

Global Health

View All Publications