A number of Khartoum-based women’s and human rights organisations have launched the #WeAreMany campaign to combat violence against women and youth, child marriage, and forced marriage, following the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women on Sunday.
The speakers at the inauguration ceremony at Teiba Press Centre demanded the reform and amendment of a number of Sudanese laws so as to be compatible with charters and human rights standards.
Nahid Jabrallah, the director of Sima Centre for the Protection of Women and Children said “the campaign included organisations, activists, and victims of violence against women and children from all over Sudan and around the world and provided mechanisms to support the victims and raise awareness.”
The forum also listened to the testimonies of victims of violence.
Sima Centre recently highlighted an increase in sexual and physical violence against women and children in the country, as well as endemic female genital mutilation. According to the latest published Sudan Household Survey (2010), nearly nine out of 10 Sudanese women (88 per cent) between 15 and 49 years old in Sudan are circumcised.
UK to tackle FGM abroad
The campaign comes one week after the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) announced £50 million ($63.8 million) of new funding to end female genital mutilation (FGM) worldwide. The funding will support the African-led movement to end FGM and provide better protection for vulnerable girls in some of the world’s poorest countries. In 2017, Sudan received over £10 million ($12.8 million) in DFID humanitarian assistance.
DFID posted a video on Twitter with a Sudanese doctor.
Withdrawal of Unamid
The DFID announcement was made against the backdrop of a delegation of UK parliamentarians to the Sudanese capital and Darfur from September 16 to September 20.
Following their visit, the delegation released a statement saying that any further reductions to the African Union and United Nations’ Mission in Darfur (Unamid) “should reflect real improvements on the ground”, as well as assurances that the UN Country Team would have the resources and support to fill the gaps.
Unamid began preparations for its exit from Darfur earlier this year, to the dissent of UK parliamentarians who warned in September that “the rapid withdrawal of Unamid, without a clear plan, puts stability and security in Darfur at risk”.