​Women want soldiers granted ‘conjugal leave’ to be with wives

​Women want soldiers granted ‘conjugal leave’ to be with wives
Central Equatoria State Governor Anthony Adil exchanging pleasantries with Yei River County Commander. [Photo: Sheila Ponnie]

​Women from Yei, Central Equatoria State, are pleading with the government to grant soldiers ‘conjugal leave’, to return home and have sweet moments with their spouses.

Yei River County Women’s Association acting chairperson Mama Hawa Adam, said servicemen be given periodical breaks to return home and have enough time to “reproduce”.

“There is a need for rotational transfer of our soldiers, at least after every six months,” Mama Hawa said when she tabled a seven-point proposal on issues affecting women and girls in Yei River County.
She was speaking at Yei Freedom Square over the weekend.

The meeting was attended by Central Equatoria State Governor – Anthony Emmanuel Adil.

“These are human beings,” added Mama Hawa, whose name loosely translates to the ‘mother of many’ in Kiswahili.

“Their bodies also need women. Some of them left their wives very far away. They need to reproduce and they need their children,” she added.

Mama Hawa also appealed to the national government to ensure prompt payment of soldiers, adding that delayed salaries are killing the morale of the servicemen.

“The budget for the food supply and motivation for our soldiers should be increased. We need our army to get enough food; their salaries must come in time. Tell our president when you get back (to Juba),” Mama Hawa told Governor Adil.

“We, the women of Yei, are crying because these are our children. They are our brothers. They give us protection, so we need their salaries to come in time,” she said

She added that early marriages among young girls and poor infrastructure in their communities has significantly affected school attendance.
“Children, especially girls, are getting married. They are getting pregnant because they lack learning facilities (boarding schools) where we can keep them safely,” she revealed

Governor Adil meanwhile directed chiefs and police to arrest and produce before court anyone found marrying off children of school-going age.