On Sunday November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the start of the annual 16 days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign was launched in Sudan, Radio Dabanga has learned.
The campaign started on Sunday and ends on December 10, the International Human Rights Day. The dates symbolically link violence against women and human rights, emphasizing that such violence is a violation of human rights.
In Sudan international development partners, including UN programmes, agencies and NGOs, together with partners from civil society, the government and local communities will take part in various activities to raise awareness of the prevalence and impact of violence against women.
Displaced women from camps across Darfur told Radio Dabanga about their exposure to all forms of violence and sexual violence in particular, without the perpetrators facing any consequences or being held accountable.
They added that the displaced woman has been confined to the camp for a long period and is not able to go out and collect firewood, work on farms or to go shopping in fear and anticipation of rape, beatings and whippings by pro-government militia.
Women confirmed, in a poll with Radio Dabanga on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, that the Sudanese woman and the Darfuri woman in particular are exposed to the several forms of violence.
Moreover, the women explained they are exposed to the worst kind of violence which they described as 'tragic, hellish and catastrophic'. They added it is the first time in the history of Sudan that a regime uses sexual violence as a weapon against its citizens with the purpose of breaking their pride and dignity.
They stated that the violence in all its forms continues in Darfur. The women stressed that sexual violence against women will not stop unless comprehensive and long-lasting peace is achieved and unless the perpetrators are brought to justice.
Additionally, the women said the climate of impunity should be eradicated before comprehensive peace can be achieved, they added to Radio Dabanga from camps in West Darfur.
At the same time, displaced women from Central Darfur told Radio Dabanga that the most dangerous forms of violence are sexual abuse and economic repression, which they are exposed to on a regular basis the women added.
One of the displaced women told Radio Dabanga that she did not leave the camp for a period of three years, as a result of fear and anticipation of rape, beating and whipping by pro-government militia on one hand and prosecution by the security services on the other hand.
Sudanese refugees in East Chad demanded to end the violence against women, and sexual violence in particular, in refugee camps in East Chad. The women also asked for the doors to be opened for women in the fields of education, health and economy.
On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, refugees from Djabal camp appealed to humanitarian organizations such as UNICEF to 'extend a helping hand to all women in all fields, health care and education in particular', the refugees added to Radio Dabanga from Djabal camp.
Achta Abkar Ibrahim, a women's representative from Djabal camp, told Radio Dabanga that the campaign is carried out by several humanitarian organizations. She added that the campaign aims to raise awareness among teachers, students and pupils, women and youth, imams and also in public places such as hospitals, Achta Abkar Ibrahim added to Radio Dabanga from Djabal camp in East Chad.