West Darfur women mark UNSCR 1325 global Open Day in El Geneina
On 14 December 2016, the United Nations and government officials joined more than 50 women, including representatives from civil society organizations, internally displaced persons, youth, women and activist groups, to mark the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 Global Open Day under the theme, “Women Count for Peace."
The event was held at the University of El Geneina and organized by UNAMID's Gender Advisory Unit (GAU), in partnership with the Ministry of Social Affairs, the State’s UNSCR 1325 Committee and the State’s Women and Child Unit.
UNSCR 1325 addresses the impact of armed conflict on women and recognizes the contributions of women in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peace building and peace keeping.
Oumar Kane, Head of Office, UNAMID Sector West, stated that the Open Day provided an opportunity for women in conflict-affected and fragile states to speak directly to high-level UN-officials and senior government leadership, thereby giving voice to their concerns, needs and priorities.
The event was a culmination of year-long consultations by the UNSCR 1325 Committee in West Darfur, in which participants extensively deliberated the challenges and achievements in the past year, and reflected on the draft National Action Plan of the Resolution.
Among the challenges noted by participants were the cancellation of the post of Wali’s advisor on women and children, decreased representation of women in the government cabinet and absence of empowerment action plans directed towards women.
Mohamed Sharafadin, Deputy Wali (governor), West Darfur, and State Minister for Social Affairs, noted that the state government would be establishing a Violence against Women Unit and pointed out that the head of the unit's duties would be equivalent to the cancelled post of Wali’s Advisor on Women and Children.
UNAMID, through GAU, has been coordinating the UNSCR 1325 Women, Peace and Security Open Days in Darfur. GAU established UNSCR 1325 Committees in all five Darfur states in 2010 to ensure effective and meaningful engagement between women at the grassroots and UN leadership.
Sakina Alhussein, Head, West Darfur UNSCR 1325 Committee, said that implementation of the Resolution has had a positive impact for women. “It has lifted barriers between women and officials; moreover it has enabled them to identify their actual needs,” she stated.