Eighty women residents of Khartoum came together in two workshops to discuss women’s priorities for the transition and beyond. The Khartoum workshops launched a nationwide consultative process organized by the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission (UNITAMS) in partnership with the National Democratic Institute (NDI). The process will consist of two consultations in each state, with each consultation bringing together women from civil society organizations, political parties, women’s groups, armed movements, internally displaced persons as well as academics, experts and active members. associations and professional networks. The consultations will also target women working in the informal sectors, such as tea and food sellers, domestic workers, as well as domestic helpers.
“Building on the results of the series of dialogues we held last August and September, this project is designed to lay the groundwork for an inclusive national agenda for women. This will protect the gains that women have made since the December revolution, ensure that their priorities are reflected in the agenda of any future transition period and support the design of transition arrangements conducive to this goal,” said Christina Shahin, Senior Gender Officer at UNITAMS. Advise.
Participants discussed the challenges and opportunities facing the formulation of a unified women’s agenda, including lessons learned from the previous transition period, generational gaps between women’s rights advocates and the lack of platforms for diverse groups of women to engage in constructive dialogues.
Participants highlighted the centrality of meaningful participation of women to achieving these priorities, whether in legislative bodies or executive government. They further highlighted the impact of supporting the presence and representation of women in other areas.
“When there are more women in law enforcement, more women will be encouraged to report violence. When there are more female doctors, more women will be encouraged to seek medical assistance when they need it,” said one participant.
Common priorities emerged during the workshops for women in Khartoum, including the need for inclusive security, equitable economic development and better access to basic services such as health and education. Participants also highlighted the need to prioritize gender-responsive legislation and budgeting to address the distinct needs and sufferings of women in light of the ongoing political, economic and humanitarian crisis in Sudan. For example, participants in both workshops discussed menstrual poverty and recommended measures to make menstrual hygiene products available. They also explored ways to extend legal protections to women in the informal economy. Discussions during the consultations highlighted the issue of violence against women, particularly domestic violence, and the urgent need for legislative and institutional support.
The dialogue also addressed the protection needs of particularly vulnerable women in displaced and refugee communities, and in areas of Sudan emerging from armed conflict. Participants further prioritized the achievement of comprehensive peace and the need to combat hate speech, racism and ethnic discrimination, and highlighted the disproportionate impact of these practices on women.
Participants linked the success of a women’s program to the political will of a new transitional government, but also stressed the need for solidarity among women’s groups within a broader movement to lead a effective advocacy.
“The agenda should not just consist of common issues related to mutual suffering. Instead, it must be a rights-based agenda that includes all issues relating to women’s rights, even when localized to one culture, context or region,” said a young woman. participant. “The causes do not have to be shared. We don’t need consensus. There is a brotherhood that compels us to recognize all women’s rights issues as part of our agenda,” added another participant.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS).
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