Rule: 25% of any given number of positions must equal the number of positions that go to women.
Problem: If we use the aforementioned rule to explain the recent allocation of ambassadorial posts in the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, what should the outcome be?
Answer: 25% of the total number of ambassadors must equal the number of women ambassadors.
Test: If (x) represents the number of female ambassadors that should be appointed, and (y) is the total number of ambassadorial posts, prove that the value of (x) is 25% of (y)?
Solve: x = (25%)(y)
x = ?
y = 90
Fill in what you know
x = (25%)(90)
Reduce, multiply and solve for x
Round to the nearest whole number
If x equals 23, therefore, the total number of newly appointed women ambassadors in the Government of the Republic of South Sudan must equal 23.
Conflict: But the actual number of women on the ambassadors list is 9, not 23 (9 is not even the half of 23!). To understand this discrepancy, look at other constitutional and high ranking posts within the government. Using the same approach above, prove that the value of (x) is 25% of any given number of positions?
Answers: 2, not 1, is 25% of 6 Presidential Advisors.
7, not 4 (not even 5), is 25% of 29 Ministerial Portfolios.
4, not 0, is 25% of 15 Members of the Austerity Measures Committee.
5, not 2, is 25% of the 20 Heads of Independent Commissions.
3, not 0, is 25% of 10 Grade 1 Ambassadors.
7, not 4, is 25% of 27 Undersecretaries.
South Sudan Judiciary, South Sudan Legislative Assembly (appointed members), South Sudan Council of States, Office of the President, Top Presidential Aides, etc..., ect...etc..., the numbers never add up to 25%.
Conclusion: Based on past and recent records, it cannot be proven that the value of (x) is 25% of any given number of positions in the Government of the Republic of South Sudan. Although the discrepancy is not new, we should not assume the Rule is flawed; however, it’s very likely someone is deliberately changing the numbers. In other words, someone is taking away the positions that were meant for women in the Government of South Sudan. To prove this point, let’s keep calculating.
OK, enough with my embarrassing mathematical skills! Here is what I really want to say.
In our culture, pledges, swears, vows, and oaths are taken very seriously. There’s a widespread belief that once you make a vow or utter an oath, the gods are alerted, so they listen carefully and make sure your wish is granted. But, at the same time, they also hold you accountable for each and every word that you utter (the good as well as the bad), and they keep a constant watch on you to ensure you abide by your own words.
If an oath or a vow was broken, the gods would be angered and their wrath would be indiscriminate. The fact that the oath was initially taken in good faith would be of little help, for you shouldn’t have awaken the gods if you were not ready to live up to your own words. As a punishment to oath takers who fail to keep their pledges, the gods turn a broken oath/vow into a curse -- a curse that affects everyone and everything that’s connected to the unfulfilled promise (for the wrath of the gods is indiscriminate and you shouldn’t have awaken them if you were not ready to live up to your own words).
Unless the oath is undone, the curse will continue to create havoc. That’s why our people are very careful when it comes to swearing—when it comes to making promises. And once they do swear, no matter what, they’ll always strive to keep the vow that they took. And once they break an oath, no matter what, they’ll always make sure they do right by those affected.
All right, I should admit I am not an expert in spiritual matters, nor am I a witch (just in case someone may think I’m well versed in the secrets of the unseen world), but here is what I really want to say.
Not long ago, His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan, made a vow, the twenty-five percent vow. He told the women of South Sudan that 25 percent is their share of all the positions in his government. He swore and threatened he would not consider any appointments if the 25 percent threshold was not met. He informed the public sector, private sector, non-governmental organizations, and religious organizations that 25 percent is a train without reverse gears. So, if they want to be acknowledged by his government as legitimate institutions and organizations, they should first prove their adherence to the 25 percent—no 25 percent means no recognition, means no legitimacy. His Excellency issued directives to constitutional experts urging them to highlight and bold the 25 percent in the Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan. The pledge of His Excellency was historic; heads rolled, men were bewildered, women were cautiously optimistic, and the gods were alerted.
As South Sudanese were trying to understand this new phenomenon called the 25 percent, our President took it one step further. His Excellency told the women of South Sudan that 25 percent is not the limit, but they also have as much share as they want in the remaining 75 percent. In other words, all appointments should see 25 percent that’s purely women’s positions, plus more women in the remaining 75 percent. So, at the end of the day, the number of women on any list should actually be greater than 25 percent. The statements of His Excellency were historic; men were disturbed, but women ululated and danced frivolously.
Long live the President... came the echoes. Kiir Mayardit Oyee... came the cries... for who among our men can do right by women. Who among our men can recognize women? Who among our men can have the audacity to empower women--to be just and fair to women? Who among our men can have the audacity to lift up women? Who among our men can have the audacity to free women from the bondage of male-dominated culture and traditions? Who among our men can have the audacity to be a man of women? Mayardit Oyee... came the echoes from the women of South Sudan. The statements of His Excellency were historic; men were nervous, but the gods leaned forward and hearkened.
As the people of South Sudan were trying to understand the meaning of the so-called 25 percent, our President took another terrible vow. His Excellency pledged to the women of South Sudan that he would increase their share to 30 percent. As the 25 percent before, 30 percent was a vehement vow that sent shockwaves throughout South Sudan. 30 percent was the pledge that His Excellency reiterated on July the 9th and its echoes were heard all around the world. Long live the President... for who among our men can have the courage to free women from the bondage of male-created beliefs--who among our men can treat women as equal citizens? The vow of His Excellency was historic, but 30 percent was also a promise that remained just that, a promise!
Not long ago, His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan, was a man on a mission. Our President was a man on a crusade against every tradition and convention that made the people of South Sudan to believe women were not as able or as qualified as men.
Then came the announcements--the Presidential Decrees came trickling down from His Excellency’s Office, and with every decree came the disappointments; women were bewildered. Not that they questioned the identity of the person who issued those decrees, for it was clearly stated “.... I, General Slava Kiir Mayarditn, President of the Republic of South Sudan, hereby issue the following Presidential Decree...”, but it was the 25 percent - something was always wrong with 25 percent – something was inherently wrong with 25 percent. At every announcement, 25 percent was reduced, relegated to lower ranks or completely forgotten. Every time His Excellency issued a Presidential Decree, women were left in confusion, men smiled, but the gods watched carefully; and the people of South Sudan continued to seek answers for the so-called 25 percent. What’s 25 percent... came the questions?
Is 25 percent a right or a privilege (since it seems to be given, reduced or completely taken away at will)? What’s 25 percent? Is it a constitutional mandate or a political propaganda (since it sounds so sweet on the microphones and it makes women ululate--since there’s no legal action against those who don’t abide by it)? What is 25 percent? Is it a mockery of women, of their intellectuality or of their ability to understand simple math? Is 25 percent a conspiracy against South Sudan women to ensure they’re all the time kept at bay? What’s 25 percent? Let’s keep calculating.
Is 25 percent a curse because the gods have spoken against the broken vows and the unfulfilled pledges? Is it an abomination?
Look at what 25 percent has done to the women of South Sudan? It created a myth that all qualified women were born on the day that promise was made, so they have not yet matured—there aren’t enough of them--they’re still crawling babies who must be taught how to walk. 25 percent erased the records of able qualified women to the extent that it has become impossible to notice they’re walking in blood and flesh among their counterparts.
Is 25 percent a curse because the gods have spoken against the broken vows? Is it an abomination?
Look at what 25 percent has done to the women of South Sudan? It erased their identities—it erased their diversity. They’re all seen as one homogeneous group; they’re all 25 percent. There has never been a talk about South Sudan women professionals, women engineers, women doctors, women teachers, women nurses, women lawyers, women economists, women thinkers, women politicians, women businesswomen... but there is a constant talk about women of the 25 percent. They look alike, they think alike and, definitely, they’re all not qualified.
Is 25 percent a curse because the gods have spoken against the broken promises?
Look at what 25 percent has done to the women of South Sudan? It has rendered them voiceless and helpless. If it weren’t for the curse of the 25 percent, we would have heard the voice of Gender and Human Rights Advisor questioning the intentional and continuous marginalization of women, but alas, she’s been rendered voiceless.
If it weren’t for the curse of the so-called 25 percent, our women in the Legislative Assembly and the Council of States would have been outraged. They would have demanded explanations; they would have corrected the misinformation about the abilities and qualifications of their sisters, but alas, they’ve been rendered voiceless and helpless.
Is 25 percent a curse because the gods have spoken against the broken vows and the unfulfilled pledges?
Look at what the so-called 25 percent has done to the women of South Sudan? It has made them so naïve and so gullible. They’re given 25 percent during the day, then at night it’s taken away, and in the morning they’re told you women you have to mobilize and work harder... you women you have to do more... you women you have to prove that you are worthy... you women you have to work harder so we can bring in more of your sisters... you women you have to fight for getting something that’s rightly yours but we decided to keep.
If 25 percent is a curse because the gods have spoken against the broken vows, then please take it back. Women of South Sudan do not need 25 percent to be told they’re not qualified; this is what they were told long before the 25 percent.
If 25 percent is a curse because the gods have spoken against the broken pledges, then please take it back. Women of South Sudan do not need 25 percent to be given junior positions; this is what was thought of them long before the 25 percent; they could follow but never lead.
If 25 percent is a curse because the gods have spoken against the broken promises, then please take it back. Women of South Sudan do not need 25 percent to be the only one, two, three, or five women on the list; this is what they used to get long before the 25 percent.
If 25 percent is a curse, then please undo this terrible curse!