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Violence still hits underrepresented women even after Sudan’s revolution

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On the screen is Hala Alkarib, Regional Director of the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa addresses UN Security Council on 14 Sept 2021 (UN photo)September 14, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese women are considerably affected by violence in the Darfur region and still underrepresented in the transitional government institutions, a Sudanese activist told the UN Security Council on Tuesday.

Hala al-Karib, Regional Director of the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa, briefed the Council on the situation of women in Sudan after the ouster of the former repressive regime in April 2019.

Al-Karbi who is actively involved in the support of women rights in Sudan said the slow implementation of reforms by transitional government fuels violence and negatively affects the fragile economy, governance system and public institutions.

“As was the case before the April 2019 revolution, women remain disproportionately impacted, with the worst food crisis in Sudan’s history pushing families to desperation,” she said.

Women in conflict-affected areas, including Darfur, Blue Nile, the Nuba Mountains and Kordofan continue to face rape, displacement and even death, she added.

“Despite women leading the revolution, we have been shut out from equally and meaningfully participating in every step of the transition,” al-Karib stressed.

Women groups in Sudan say disappointed by the reluctance of the Hamdok government to endorse international and regional conventions on women rights.

Last April, the government approved the ratification of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) but entered reservations to several crucial dispositions. Moreover, the text until now has not been endorsed definitively.

Women are also angered by their underrepresentation in the cabinet and public agencies. The prime minister says the blame should be directed to the political groups of the Forces for Freedom and Changes who nominate the government officials.

Mentioning violent incidents of disrespect by armed groups including in Khartoum she said such actions are making an inclusive and democratic transformation more difficult.

SIHA director urged the Council to support Sudanese women by ensuring their full, equal and meaningful participation and leadership throughout the Transitional Government’s bodies, and in the peace processes.

The Constitutional Declaration of 2019 provides that 40% of the cabinet portfolios and the would-be formed legislative body be allocated to the Sudanese government.

Also, she called on the Security Council to press the Transitional Government to ratify CEDAW, and “ensure harmonization of domestic laws with the Convention without delay”.

(ST)

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