2024 International Women’s Day Statement

Darfur Women Action Group

International Women’s Day Celebration

A call for  Protection, Inclusion, and Participation 


Today at DWAG we  write to mark  the International Women’s Day by congratulating all  women of all backgrounds for their fierce determination to change the face of the world we live in today.   We wish to mark this day by celebrating the resilience, outstanding  leadership and determination of the Sudanese women, to recognize their plight and recommit ourselves to empower them to fight for justice, protection and inclusion. 

It’s worth noting that women in Sudan, particularly Darfur, despite being victims of the most brutal violence and gross human rights abuse, have demonstrated  exceptional resilience, courage and resolve as they persistently continue to rise beyond the cruel circumstances and make differences every day!.

On April 15th, when the war erupted and forced the international actors and stakeholders to evacuate Sudan, and leave an unprecedented humanitarian vacuum, it was the women of Sudan who stepped up and took most daunting responsibility – quickly assembled and organized themselves to provide emergency response to those in need, document atrocities, and identify safe evacuation routes at the risk of their lives. They eventually draw a bold line between despair and hope. It’s indeed an exceptional effort that needs to be recognized and  written in every history book and celebrated every international women’s day and every day! 


In Sudan today there is no safe place for women

In the current war in Sudan Rape and various forms of sexual and gender-based violence(SGBV) including abductions and sexual slavery have been confirmed to be committed against women and girls during attacks both on Khartoum and Darfur by RSF fighters. Recent reports also alleged that SAF forces have committed incidents of sexual violence against women in and around some cities. Its even more horrifying that ethnically driven targeting of women have been well documented in the current and the ongoing Darfur genocide. 

While the RSF still occupying and looting  civilians’ homes,  dismayingly using rape and all forms  sexual violences as a war tactic, the SAF is raging heavy artillery shelling,  air strikes, and random attacks continue to  target civilians’ homes, markets, bridges,  basic services, and evacuation routes. As a result, an uncountable number of innocent civilians have been killed, most of them women and children. Regrettably, the accurate  numbers have largely been under-reported as there is no secure environment for data collection with most aid workers being chased out by the eruption of war last year and the security risk it created.It’s worth noting that a majority of the refugees arriving from Sudan are women headed households. Women and children make up the overwhelming majority of the displaced population, nearly 80-85%. It’s evident that during this war women have been the most impacted, not only because of the gross human rights violation they face but also during the times of terror, it is always women grassroot leaders and youth that risked their lives stepping out to help those in urgent need. To make matters worse there’s little to no services available to  meet  women’s emergency needs. In some instances, women civil society leaders have been precisely targeted because of their work and left vulnerable without protection. Sudan today has become the most dangerous place to be a woman- but we must change that. Regrettably we have not seen any global outrage nor seen global solidarity to strengthen the voices of Sudanese women who are fighting for their rights under extremely difficult circumstances.


Shameful exclusion of women from decision making arenas 

Although,  a variety of bilateral and multilateral, regional and international initiatives to address the crises in Sudan have emerged, such as  the Jeddah process, the recent IGAD /AU  initiatives, they have utterly  failed to address the magnitude of the crisis or yield tangible impact on the ground. Furthermore, all of these initiatives  have  largely excluded women. Even the  initiatives from the civilian community have been characterized by systemic  exclusion of women and youth,  lack of transparency and coordination, not corresponding with realities on the ground, and unlikely to bring about meaningful and sustainable change on the ground.

Over the years, the international community’s engagement in Sudan has been limited to negotiating with a handful of leaders, who are either the government leaders or the opposition groups. In most cases, these spaces are male-oriented and contingent on a narrowly crafted political agenda exclusive to women’s agenda. The result has been a repeated failure to push change forward. 


What must our leaders do? Dedicated efforts and action must be taken.

Therefore, we must urge  UNSC, US government and the African Union to dedicate genuine effort for protection, participation, and effective inclusion of women at all levels of decision-making processes, with clearly defined measures of accountability for crimes committed against women if a durable solution in Sudan is to be realized.

Sudan has remained isolated for 11 months, and the more isolation means more civilian casualties and that less humanitarian aid could  reach those in need. With this context women have become increasingly vulnerable to attacks as they are shouldering their own responsibility of taking care of their families, their society while documenting atrocities and  struggling  to make their voice heard.

It’s worth noting that women, despite being victims of the most brutal violence and gross human rights abuse, their resilience are evident as they persistently continue to rise beyond the cruel circumstances.

Therefore, we wish to take this opportunity to call on the US government, UNSC and the AU to take the following steps to enforce the measures of protection, accountability, and a safe humanitarian corridor in Sudan. These steps are equally  critical in creating an enabling environment for women to safely gather, articulate their agenda,   strategize and effectively participate in all decision-making including peace negotiation. 



  • UNSC to adopt a gender-responsive atrocities prevention framework for resolving crises in Sudan which include UNSC using existing measures at its disposal to pressure the belligerents to immediately cease the war and all the crimes against women. 
  • Prioritize strong UN presence on the ground in Sudan for civilian protection, unhindered humanitarian aid delivery and adequate documentation of atrocities. 
  • UNSC must propose clear benchmarks for women’s inclusion, and integrate  the UN envoy’s  mandate and obligate its other organs to report periodically on women’s  situation. Financial resources and technical assistance is paramount to ensure women are empowered and enabled to participate from the start including in ceasefire negotiation, monitoring and the long-term peace building effort.
  • Criminal and financial accountability for crimes committed in Sudan, with special emphasis on crimes committed against women and women’s inclusion in the process of justice from investigation, during the trial and post-trial arrangements.  Member states must include crimes committed against women a priority measure in sanctions designation, all financials and criminal accountability processes. 
  • Adequate funding for women led organizations for documentation and protection of the GVB survivors and restoration of their dignity.  

With our collective effort we will empower, educate, and support women to fight for their rights and seek justice. We believe the women of Sudan have the power but we need to create an enabling environment for them to exercise it and must not let anyone take that away under any circumstances. 

Thank you for your continued support. 

Truly yours,

Niemat Ahmadi, Founder and President of DWAG

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