SUDAN: Sudanese Women Demand Participation, Promotion And Protection

Thursday, June 24, 2010
United Nations Mission in Sudan
Eastern Africa

Women from across Sudan met at a Khartoum open day commemorating the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, and shared recommendations with UN leaders on 10 June. Having developed key issues through state and regional consultations, some 35 representatives of Sudanese women's groups gathered at UNMIS headquarters appealing for the United Nations and Sudanese government to observe Resolution 1325.

Based on the resolution's main areas, which was passed ten years ago, a representative read out demands related to participation, promotion and protection. “We demand meaningful support for women's participation by 30 per cent in legislation, DDR (Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration) commissions, law enforcement, peacekeeping,” the representative said.

Similarly, women expressed a need to be included in the field of protection and recruited in the security sector, and highlighted the importance of addressing gender-based violence. Promotion-related recommendations included the Sudanese government to establish a national action plan for the full implementation of the resolution, including a monitoring body.

“Conflict-related sexual violence is now understood as a peace and security issue,” UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) Executive Director Ines Alberdi said at the open day, applauding the resolution while highlighting three implementation gaps. According to Ms. Alberdi, scarcity of women in peace negotiations; continued use of sexual violence as a tactic of war; and shortfall in financing for women's needs in post-conflict recovery plans remain unresolved. “Women are resilient and they don't give up but they need support,” the UNIFEM director added. UNMIS Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General Jasbir Lidder and Yegerawork Angagaw, Senior Gender Adviser representing the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Joint Special Representative Ibrahim Gambari emphasized commitment of both missions towards the resolution's realization.

The open day brought together women from civil society organizations from areas including Southern and Eastern Sudan Sudan, the three Darfur states, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states and Khartoum. The preparatory consultations and the open day were supported by UNMIS, UNAMID, UNIFEM and the UN Development Programme, which provided funding, technical and logistical support.