web analytics
March 28, 2015 / 8 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


Israeli Activist Promotes Women’s Rights in South Sudan

Sexual violence was used as a weapon of war, as is common in East Africa.

South-Sudan-2

Ophelie Namiech, South Sudan country director of the Israeli humanitarian organization IsraAID, is working in South Sudan to promote gender equality, women’s rights and helping local activists address gender-based violence.

Ophelie Namiech, a former French national, has made Aliyah to Israel and is presently serving as the South Sudan country director for IsraAID.  The humanitarian organization provides emergency relief and development assistance to different countries across the globe. In South Sudan, IsraAID is involved in development assistance for the emerging nation. 

“I made Aliyah in order to help build Israel’s future”

Namiech’s ultimate professional goal was to build a career that combined her love for the State of Israel with assisting the South Sudanese people. “I made Aliyah in order to build Israel’s future. I wanted to make a difference. I felt I needed to be part of Israel on the inside,” she stated. “It is such a pride to say that I am Israeli. It’s a reason to make Aliyah. Israel was founded based on humanitarian values.” She believes that by working to build relations between Israel and South Sudan and by accompanying the new state in in its efforts to build strong economic and social foundations, she is strengthening the role of Israel in international development and humanitarian action (Tikkun Olam). According to her, Israel has the opportunity – and the duty – to assist other friendly nations that struggled for their independence – like South Sudan – to build themselves.

Gender Issues in South Sudan

Presently, South Sudan, which gained independence in 2011, has a humanitarian crisis in the border regions of the country as well as an internal conflict. According to Namiech, “South Sudan was fifty years in war. […] Sexual violence was used as a weapon of war, like is common in East Africa. It was not only used as weapon of war but it is also traumatized the nation.” She continued, “There are not studies on this, but at least two thirds of the women have faced gender based violence, rape, sexual violence, domestic violence, etc.” Namiech claimed that the international community focused almost exclusively on helping out the border regions, and did not have the capital city Juba as a priority.

Nevertheless, “Juba faced rapid urbanization with the massive absorption of refugees, displaced people, and migrants seeking better opportunities. All of this created social and economic pressure on Juba as well as social challenges.” She continued, “You have five star hotels for internationals and then a slum area where women and children are being raped.” She personally witnessed a child getting raped by five men and claimed that such things happen on a daily basis. “No one was working in Juba, because they were focusing elsewhere,” she asserted. Yet, after IsraAID began assisting local activists in South Sudan promoting gender equality, other NGOs joined in.

Namiech Working to Make a Difference

IsraAID  seeks to train social workers, community leaders and teachers to be able to address gender-based violence on their own. Namiech claims that merely providing humanitarian assistance is not long-term thinking, since soon after, once the international activists depart, the aid also goes with them and without being given the tools to deal with the issue on their own, the South Sudanese won’t be able to effect change on their own. This is why Namiech is so motivated to provide local South Sudanese activists with the tools that they need in order to make a difference.

IsraAID has successfully developed a positive working relationship between social workers, teachers, and the police. “As a result of this, there were joint programs. They are doing joint awareness sessions in schools to raise awareness on children’s and women’s rights,” Namiech asserted. Yet in addition to assisting with collaboration between various local South Sudanese actors, Namiech has worked with IsraAID to bring the same Israelis who built the first women’s shelters in Israel to South Sudan, to train the South Sudanese how to do it. They also bring experienced Israeli therapists to train South Sudanese therapists how to treat trauma victims.

About the Author: Rachel Avraham is a news editor and political analyst for Jerusalem Online News, the English language internet edition of Israel's Channel 2 News. She completed her masters degree in Middle Eastern Studies at Ben-Gurion University. The subject of her MA thesis was: "Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab media."


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Israeli Activist Promotes Women’s Rights in South Sudan”

Comments are closed.

UWI blog logo
Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu to Release Frozen Palestinian Authority Tax Revenue
Latest Blogs Stories
The Dimona nuclear reactor dome. Iran has been using Israel's reluctance to join the NPT to escape criticism of its own program.

“Israel has nuclear weapons & it isn’t afraid to use them if necessary-Does that frighten you? Good”

JB Flag

American Jews think they know what’s best for Israel-better than Israelis. Here’s my take…

HarHabayitwDome.jpg

An old Arab man yelled at me “You’re stupid!” I returned the compliment; He had murder in his eyes.

Doug Goldstein

Why do people feel the need to check their email 50X a day, constantly dipping in & out of Facebook?

Betar is the world-wide Zionist youth movement that refuses to be silent, and as our founder Ze’ev Jabotinsky wrote: “Silence is despicable.”

Life in Europe’s pre-War Yeshiva world makes today’s rulings look like the Taliban has taken over.

Moshe’s the 1st family member in thousands of years to have the honor of serving in a Jewish army

Often wig wearers become more attractive after marriage. Doesn’t this turn the intent on its head?

US official interference in Israel’s Elections is not only immoral but may be illegal under US law.

The greatest thing about leaving Israel is the joy in returning, hearing/seeing/smelling coming home

I never felt an election resonate so much; I had true existential fear that my candidate might lose

It appears that Agudah has joined with those choosing to erase women from the public sphere.

How can you turn your passion into your business? How can you build your business around your life?

Politicians have their own egos as priority, not the good of the country nor the will of the people

I might have to “reassess” my position on President Obama if his “new positions and comments” on Israel don’t match his pre-election statements.

Find out about peak oil and how the production & sale of cheap oil has affected other oil sources

More Articles from Rachel Avraham
1024px-Donna_Edwards_at_victory_rally,_February_13,_2008

Edwards is rated #4 by the Arab-American Institute for her pro-Palestine pro-Arab voting record.

saudi_lady_drivers_2013

A Saudi woman’s like a queen without a chauffeur, driven around by Saudi men whenever she commands

“Most of the Palestinians in Judea&Samaria are former Jews, converted by force by the Ottomans.”

Jewish communities worldwide commemorate Yehudit during Chanukah by eating dairy foods in her honor

In Jordan,Palestinians are discriminated in every field: education; healthcare; employment; business

Living is Israel is costlier than in other countries but how will your kids grow up in the diaspora?

Given these statistics, I feel that it is not worth it to live in the United States.

Pro-Israel groups must broaden their coalitions and feature more pro-Israel minority speakers.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/united-with-israel/israeli-activist-promotes-womens-rights-in-south-sudan/2013/06/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: