Congrats to the people of South Sudan who officially became their own country over the weekend. There was a lot of celebrating, as you can see from above–particularly by many of the women who were key in the long, hard struggle for independence in pursuit of a more peaceful nation. World Pulse published a fantastic account of the recession movement back in January. Here’s a telling excerpt:
“This vote has made me feel free,” remarked Mary Chan, 41, a cleaner for an international non-governmental organization based in Juba. “I haven’t been to school, but I voted because we all want freedom. My husband and I, we want our children to go to school. Their lives will be different than ours.” During the first days of voting, long lines of women like Chan waited in the baking sun for hours on end, wanting to be among the first to cast freedom votes. Some women ululated and jumped after dropping their ballots in the plastic boxes, while at one station in Juba, a man led the crowd in an impromptu chorus of ‘Hallelujah.’
“I am very happy because we are going to get our independence. Bye bye, enough,” Mary Atong, 45, a mother of four said after casting her vote, saying she knew secession would be the outcome of the referendum.