Our Programmes



Sign up to our newsletter.

Follow ODI

Gender, violence and survival in Juba, Southern Sudan

Briefing/policy paper

Briefing/policy paper

While officially a ‘post-conflict’ context, violence and displacement persist in Southern Sudan, and efforts to bring about a visible ‘peace dividend’ have had only marginal impact. 

Uncertainty about the future is compounded by the very serious economic, social and governance problems the region faces. One consequence has been a rapid expansion in the population of the Southern capital, Juba, and a large increase in the numbers of urban poor in the town. It is estimated that over 2 million IDPs and 200,000 refugees have returned to Southern Sudan since 2005, many of whom have chosen to live in Juba, hoping for better livelihoods, security and basic services.

However, expectations of a better life have rarely been realised. This policy brief examines how overcrowded conditions, a lack access to services and employment and a vulnerability to repeated displacement due to a lack of secure land tenure affects both men and women. It also examines the impacts of crime, high levels of gun ownership and the absence of effective civilian rule of law mechanisms.

This policy brief highlights the need for aid agencies to incorporate gender analysis within assessment frameworks and conflict analyses in order to gain a more informed understanding of the underlying dynamics of vulnerability and insecurity in Juba. It also argues that a broader gender analysis is needed to understand the different impacts rapid urbanisation and long-term conflict and displacement are having on both men and women.

Ellen Martin