On Thursday, March 11th, Founder and President of DWAG Niemat Ahmadi conducted a Facebook livestream event to mark the launch of DWAG’s “Bold, Brave and Beautiful” campaign in observance of Women’s History Month where she reiterated the importance of women’s participation in the country. Furthermore, she shared updates from the Al-Fashir camp in Sudan and the Women’s History Month campaign. The following are key remarks made during the livestream event:
Women in Darfur and across Sudan have been instrumental actors who have displayed outstanding leadership, resilience, and courage by emerging at the grassroots level as exceptional leaders, speaking up for themselves and others, and fighting and taking charge of their destinies. However, those in charge of bringing peace and finding solutions to the crisis in Darfur and Sudan in general have failed to recognize and utilize the extraordinary efforts of these women.
During the 2019 revolution, the women of Sudan were at the forefront in peacefully demanding change in the country. However, the interim government has failed to effectively include women and ensure their participation at all levels of government and decision-making processes, with women only making up 12 percent of the participation at the national level and hardly any opportunities available at regional and local levels.
Women have faced the brunt of the suffering in Darfur. Therefore, they are more than capable and qualified to serve at all levels of decision-making and leadership. Without effective participation of women, Sudan cannot be transformed. They need support, empowerment and opportunities at the table to be able to unite together and demand their rights. We will not rest until women have an equal seat on the table.
DWAG stands in solidarity and is working tirelessly to bring the voices of Darfuri women and women who have been oppressed around the globe to the forefront so that policymakers understand the importance of prioritizing women’s participation. These women have emerged as leaders, healers and spokespersons for their causes while fighting for rights and seeking justice to be able to live their lives with dignity.
During the interim period it is also crucial that women are protected especially after decades of violence, genocide and dectatorship. Unfortunately, following the United Nations peacekeeping mission UNAMID’s departure in December 2020, the new United Nations peacekeeping mission, UNITAMS, lacks a protection mechanism. The UN must ensure that women in Darfur and Sudan are protected as they are still vulnerable to harassment and violence.
We must raise our voice and make the international community, including the United States, hear us, especially when they attempt to normalize relations with Sudan. We welcome U.S. President Joe Biden’s efforts to recognize women’s rights by addressing violence against women internationally. However, we must ensure the United States exercises pressure on the Government of Sudan to include, prioritize and commit to women participation and address violence against women in Sudan, espeically in places like Darfur.
We call on our supporters to share this message on the importance of women participation and demand change at all levels of the Sudanese government and international level.
When Niemat left Sudan 15 years ago, she made two promises: to be a voice for the people of Sudan, particularly Darfuri women and to create an organization to come back and help empower women, recognize the suffering they have had to endure, and highlight their resilience and courage.
Today, through DWAG and our offices in Khartoum and Al-Fashir in Sudan, we have met this promise. On International Women’s Day, DWAG celebrated these achievements with the women from the Al Fashir camp, and discussed and sorted out their priorities and aspirations in the upcoming months and years ahead.
Bold, Brave and Beautiful campaign:
Throughout the month of March, we will be highlighting the stories of women in Darfur, and around the world. They are bold, brave and beautiful and through their resilience, strength, and confidence have done extraordinary work in changing the realities of women across the globe.
We are supplementing this month long campaign with a fundraiser for our Women Empowering Women Centers in Sudan. Unique in its scope and context, these centers will serve as a space for female survivors to gather, share their stories, receive psycho-social support, and heal. They will also be a space for women to learn about their rights, connect with other women activists, and form a grassroots movement for peace and the advancement of women’s rights across Sudan. We hope you will consider donating to this cause.
View the full video of the livestream on our Facebook account.