Mobilize, Educate, Engage, Empower to end violence!
From November 25th to December 10th, DWAG invites you to join our 16 Days of Activism Campaign, to stand in solidarity and act together to help end violence against women. This time of the year is particularly important to us because DWAG and millions of women’s rights organizations around the globe are coming together to speak in one voice and demand that our leaders take action to end violence against women and girls. While there has been progress toward advancing the rights of women, there is still a long way to go, especially for women in conflict-affected regions such as Darfur of Sudan.
From Nov. 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to Dec. 10th, Human Rights Day, 16 Days of Activism engages individuals and organizations all over the world to collectively call for the elimination of violence against women and girls. Therefore, we are calling on you to join our efforts to draw attention to the unspeakable suffering women face during the genocide and other atrocities. At DWAG, we will use our efforts throughout these 16 days to not only highlight the suffering of women in Darfur but also recognize the resilience and courage of Darfuri women who have been living in makeshift camps for the past 18 years and endured violent attacks and brutal incidents of sexual and gender-based violence.
Why This is Urgent and Why You Should Care
The genocide in Darfur is entering its 18th year. Millions of victims are still out of their homes, and the perpetrators have yet to face justice.
During the 30 years of the totalitarian regime in Sudan that has been characterized by its immense brutality, women are the most severely impacted and the least involved in the peace-making process today. In Darfur, rape has been used systematically as a weapon of war and a tool of genocide. Women are raped when militias attack their villages, while they are simultaneously fleeing for safety and having no choice but to live in the IDP camps. Today, there are over 3 million people who have been forced out of their homes and can’t return because of insecurity and lack of protection. Women make up the overwhelming majority of those who live in refugee and internally displaced camps and remain subject to rape and sexual violence with total impunity.
Despite the fact that al-Bashir, the mastermind of the Darfur genocide, has been removed from power, his totalitarian regime is still very present in Sudan. Millions of genocide victims are still out of their homes, depending on humanitarian assistance for their daily survival. During the peaceful protest and the uprising that brought an end to the regime in Sudan, women have been the leading force for change. Regrettably, the interim government of Sudan has not prioritized women’s inclusion or participation in the national government, with women making up less than 12% of those appointed to official positions.
Further, this year, the lockdown measures imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus have led to increased reports of domestic violence against women. Women have also been more affected by the economic downturn, as they make up a large part of the informal sector and many have taken on unpaid caretaking roles during the pandemic. It is important that we continue to draw attention to the issues facing women and girls all over the world, and even more so in places like Darfur and we must advocate for structural change that can empower women and protect their rights.
Despite their long suffering, Darfuri women have demonstrated outstanding resilience and courage to stand for themselves and their community. Darfuri women have emerged as leaders at the grass-root level and internationally taking charge in addressing their issues as healers and spokespeople for their communities. That is why DWAG is making our goal of empowerment a priority. For our 16 Days campaign, DWAG will focus on raising funds to build women empowerment centers in Darfur to provide a safe space for women to gather, receive training and develop their strategies for sustainable social change.
During this campaign, DWAG will feature stories from women in Darfur and in the diaspora; female genocide survivors and activists from all over the world; and women leaders and scholars who have played an important role in the advancement of gender equality, genocide prevention, peacebuilding, and human rights advocacy. We will be highlighting these women every day for 16 days on our website and social media platforms.
What you can do to help
To spread awareness, DWAG asks all of our supporters to:
We are grateful to have you by our side. Only with your collective effort can we realize a better future for women in Darfur and around the world. Together, we can help bring attention to the struggles women face every day and strive to open the road for those who have yet to fulfill their potential.
Thank you for your continued support,
Niemat Ahmadi & The DWAG Team