Awut Deng Acuil, the first woman to be appointed head of a university

For the first time in South Sudan’s history, a woman becomes chair of a university board (CA). Following a presidential decree circulating in state media, Awut Deng Acuil was appointed head of the board of Bahr El Ghazal University in the western country. This 57-year-old woman has been Minister of Education since February last year. Once again, her journey promotes gender equality in the country.

as reported from Nairobi, Sebastien nemeth

This is not the first time Awut Deng Acuil has written the history of his country. In August 2019, she became the first southern Sudanese to become foreign minister, which carried out an extraordinary trip.

Married young, she spent many years in exile in Kenya, with her children, while her husband fought in the war between northern and southern Sudan, until he lost his life.

Awut Deng Acuil then became a strong activist for peace, human rights and gender equality. Very early on, she became involved in several organizations and also trained generations in conflict resolution.

She has a degree in political science and has created a reputation that has led her to participate in many peace negotiations, especially between north and south or between the tribes of Nuer and Dinka.

Her activism was internationally recognized in 2002, when she became the second African woman to receive the Interaction Humanitarian Award, after Graça Machel, wife of Nelson Mandela.

Awut Deng Acuil has never stopped his activism when he served his country by in turn becoming Minister of Labor, Humanitarian Affairs or Gender.

Awut Deng Acuil’s journey is reminiscent of another famous woman, Victoria Yar Arol, the first South Sudanese woman to study at a university in Khartoum, when South Sudan failed. did not yet exist.


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