“Be kind to all, at all times,” an adage my father says whenever he advises me on what brings blessings to one’s life. He also says that, regardless of how poor he may be, and what little possessions he boasts of, what is priceless, is his good name. “They can call me anything, but they can never call me a thief, ” he would proudly add. So I was brought up to be kind to all at all times, and never to take something that doesn’t belong to me. Virtues better suited for utopia, you’d think! For here, kindness is a weakness readily exploited by even the closest friends and allies. To not take what’s not yours is equal to stupidity. Better yet, taking what’s not yours is camouflaged so well, that you’d think it’s an entitlement.
Sovereignty is a concept that is relevant to all tiers of existence and identity, from the individual to the group, community to the nation. It is inherently tied to the formulation of interests, and to the submission of energies and resources towards their achievement, without external interference. You may ask, what is sovereignty for a child, and the girl child, in particular, as a dependent in the context of a family in South Sudan?
We have founded this nation upon great human sacrifices in the fight for justice and equality for all. We have a legacy of struggle centered on the elimination of all the forms of marginalization, suffered at the hands of successive regimes in Sudan, be they social, cultural, economic, political, religious, and or racial. It is, therefore, incumbent upon a nation like ours to not allow the corruptive seed of marginalization to thrive in the form of marginalization based on gender.