Access to clean water, education at all levels and economic projects. These are three of the most important issues when it comes to women’s rights in Sudan.
Access to clean water, education at all levels and economic projects. These are three of the most important issues when it comes to women’s rights in Sudan. Four Sudanese women came to the Stockholm International Conference on resolution 1325 to talk about their struggle for other women in their own countries.
Amel Taha, Rita Martin, Sara Elgieli Alrahim and Wifag Ibrahim represent four different human rights organisations in Sudan. They all have different backgrounds but work for the same main cause, to involve women in the democratic processes in Sudan and to spread awareness to the Sudanese women about their own rights all over their vast nation.
Important to Educate Women about Rights
Rita Martin works for EVE Organization, which is formed by female university students with the purpose of supporting less fortunate women in getting an education.
"Women need to have an education on different levels to be able to take part in governmental issues and decision making. This is really hard to accomplish since Sudanese women have to struggle so hard just to make their everyday life work," Rita Martin says.
Amel Taha agrees.
"As a lawyer I think that educating women in their legal rights is crucial. Most women are not aware at all of their own human rights."
Resolution Needs to be Translated and Broadcasted
All four women agree on the fact that spreading information about 1325 is very important, and also very hard because of language difficulties. Sara Elgieli Alrahim thinks that cooperation between different organisations is the key for solving this.
"If we could just have the resolution translated into all different Sudanese languages we could spread it by broadcasting. Many women can't read, but most people listen to the radio so we could easily reach them that way."
Poverty – Biggest Hurdle
Sudanese women are also in great need of economic resources; poverty must be defeated before women of Sudan can be educated and take part in the peace process. Sara Elgieli Alrahim tells about a successful project which she has been working on.
"We started a women association in a small and poor society. We provided the women with seed for them to grow in the fields. With money from the harvest the first year they were able to buy tools for increasing next year’s harvest which generated twice as much money as the first one. Now the men want to join as well," she says and laughs.
All four women agree that projects which generate activity and income are very positive. However, they also share many bad experiences from other projects.
"Sometimes I just get very, very tired. I feel like we are so much behind the rest of the world. We are still struggling with just the basic needs," says Rita Martin.
So what motivates these women to go on with their work in Sudan?
"The big gap between Sudan and most other countries, we need to move forward," Rita Martin says.
"Seeing women suffer. This is the same everywhere. And we want to support them," says Wifag Ibrahim.
Four Organisations Participated from Sudan
Amel Taha, Mutawinat
Rita Martin, EVE Organization
Sara Elgieli Alrahim, NIDAA
Wifag Ibrahim, HOPD