Lilian Riziq

President, South Sudan Women's Empowerment Network

South Sudan

Lilian Riziq, a social justice activist, is one of the prominent leaders in South Sudan’s women’s movement. She is the founder of a leading women organization, the South Sudan Women’s Empowerment Network, which advocates for women’s rights and inclusion in all decision-making levels. A former senior government official in South Sudan, Lilian served as a minister of Agriculture from 2012 to 2013 and the state minister of Finance from 2013 to 2015 in Western Bahr El Ghazal State. She was also a member of several national commissions, such as the Constitution Review Commission, as well as one of the few women in the leadership of the National Dialogue Steering Committee.

Lilian is involved in several initiatives, including mainstreaming gender in peacebuilding and strengthening local women peacemakers’ capacity in South Sudan working with various key international donors, academic institutions, and civil society organizations in raising awareness of vital national, regional, and international instruments on women’s rights. She organized a silent march with hundreds of women across the country, that contributed to the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) by the national parliament in September 2014.

Lilian is an alum of the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego, 2019 women peacemakers. Through this fellowship, she contributed to a multi-year research document focused on building more equitable funding partnerships between local women peacebuilders and international peace funders. Lilian holds a master’s degree in International Development from American University in Washington DC, and a post-graduate certificate on Gender Leadership and Public Policy from the University of Massachusetts in Boston.