Increasing Women and Community Knowledge About Gender Issues and their Capabilities to End VAW in Sudan

Huwayda Mohamed Ibrahim, Global Education Magazine

Huwayda Mohamed Ibrahim

Projects designer and developer at Consultancy office at Sudan

huwayda1@hotmail.com

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Women are still suffering from marginalization, different types of violence, exclusion and social injustice especially, in the rural areas and from the sense of superiority they are being treated with, in the conservative societies. The vast majority remain suffering under poverty, ignorance, illiteracy and harmful customs. Women always suffer from the consequences of the armed conflict and tribal fighting by being displaced and losing their husbands. Women are always vulnerable to different types of violence. The above facts give women an expected role in advancing gender equality. To this, international standards and principles should be adopted to ensure an active, responsible and positive participation to support the gains achieved and to achieve more.

Despite the fact that the Sudanese Women’s Movement had started as early as the 1950s, women in Sudan still face the problem of a staggering and inconsistent policy atmosphere that neither explicitly calls for gender equality, nor breaks the silence about women’s real abilities to share in power and wealth. There is still no clear and systematic progress in reducing the gender gap in favour of women. There is lack of data on different types of violence practiced against women. However in conflict areas, women and children were subject to shelling, abduction, rape and violence. Domestic violence is a legal ground for divorce, but many women are reluctant to file formal complaints against such abuse. About 90% of females in Sudan have been subjected to Female Genital Mutilation. Despite the efforts of the ministry of health and many NGOs. Child labour and early marriage for girls as young as 11-14 years is practiced.

Basis on this SWGU developed a project: Increasing women and community knowledge about gender issues and their capabilities to end VAW in Sudan it will be implemented in 3 states (White Nile and Blue Nile and Khartoum states), it is funded by French Embassy in Khartoum through the Social Development fund which supports project implemented by local NGOs in the country”.. It started on Jan-2014 and implementation is going on:

The aim of the project is to empower women and community people in the above mentioned locations(Khartoum, Blue Nile and White Nile states), to be able tosupport ending violence against women and gender justice interventions (FGM, GBV, early marriage, and other forms of VAW). Women usually are the first to be affected by the conflict situation and they face increased vulnerabilities and exploitation from various forms of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV). The aim of this project is to empower the people and women from communities of 3 states (Khartoum, Blue Nile and White Nile states) to be able to articulate their socio-political and economic issues and be able to determine their destiny. The target groups will include 240 individuals who are the local leaders, Women and the general community of target states.

The main activities envisaged by Sudanese Woman’s General Union, which include seminars and workshops targeting the local leaders, women to create awareness on the need. Workshops on gender issues, ending violence campaigns and establishment of a theatre and drama groups to strengthen delivery of information.

The project objectives are:

  1. To build the capacity and self-esteem of the vulnerable women through enhance their life skills in order to promote their socio-economic through building capacities and abilities to exercise their rights to life, protection, and social security.

  2. To assist in harnessing the capacity of community and women to engage women empowerment activities

3- Strengthened capacity of the target communities in Advancing Equality, ending violence against women and mitigation and the enhancement of the capacity of institutions that enforce law and order.

Estimated impacts of the projects:

Increase target women knowledge about gender issues and human rights with improvement in their skills to advocate their rights and to participate in decision making, it will also has impact the children through the work with teachers and within schools- as well as the whole community through public event community mobilization and so on.

Strengthening the involvement of civil society organization to establish gender forums, rebuild confidence, and give voice to the people

Reduction in incidence of violence against women with prevention of FGM and early marriage.

Prevention of all sort of violence against women.

Long term impacts:

  • Eradication of harmful traditions that deprive women of their rights, through awareness raising of women and community about the risks of tradition, supporting the laws that will eradicate these traditions.

  • Application of laws that protect women’s rights
  • Alteration of negative stereotypes of women through media, through media messages
  • Integration of human rights in educational curriculum
  • Prevention of all sorts of violence against women.
  • Bodies dealing with gender and VAW resolution to be more empowered through:

Gender gap persistently disfavours women in education, employment opportunities, and skills development, representation at professional, senior managerial and decision making bodies, business ownership and earnings.

Despite the fact that the Sudanese Women’s Movement had started as early as the 1950s, women in Sudan still face the problem of a staggering and inconsistent policy atmosphere that neither explicitly calls for gender equality, nor breaks the silence about women’s real abilities to share in power and wealth. There is still no clear and systematic progress in reducing the gender gap in favour of women. There is lack of data on different types of violence practiced against women. However in conflict areas, women and children were subject to shelling, abduction, rape and violence. Domestic violence is a legal ground for divorce, but many women are reluctant to file formal complaints against such abuse. About 90% of females in Sudan have been subjected to Female Genital Mutilation. Despite the efforts of the ministry of health and many NGOs. Child labour and early marriage for girls as young as 11-14 years is practiced.

Sudanese Woman’s General Union, SWGU has endeavored to develop the capacity of the women on the ground that would be able to promote both development and peace within their communities. Overall, SWGU is a movement of Sudanese Women working to strengthen and empower women politically, socially, and economically.

So, a project Increasing women and community knowledge about gender issues and their

capabilities to end VAW in Sudan was developed to be able tosupport ending violence against women and gender justice interventions (FGM, GBV, early marriage, and other forms of VAW). Women usually are the first to be affected by the conflict situation and they face increased vulnerabilities and exploitation from various forms of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV). The aim of this project is to empower the people and women from communities of 3 states (Khartoum, Blue Nile and White Nile states) to be able to articulate their socio-political and economic issues and be able to determine their destiny. The target groups will include 240 individuals who are the local leaders, Women and the general community of target states.

The main activities envisaged by SWGU, will include seminars and workshops targeting the local leaders, women to create awareness on the need. Workshops on gender issues, ending violence campaigns and establishment of a theatre and drama groups to strengthen delivery of information. The organization wishes to disseminate the above activities in the above mentioned States. It was funded by French Embassy in Khartoum.

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This article was published on 8th March: International Women´s Day, in Global Education Magazine.

 

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