Darfur women’s forum concludes in El Fasher, North Darfur
More than 100 participants from Khartoum and the five states of Darfur have concluded a two-day forum in El Fasher, North Darfur to discuss women’s contribution to sustainable development in the region.
The forum, organized by UNAMID, UN Women and the UN Development Programme, took place on 16 and 17 September 2018, under the theme: “Empowering women for peace and security for sustainable development.”
Regional Manager at UNDP Darfur, Christopher Laker, said the forum provided leaders with an opportunity to review the role and contribution of women to peace and efforts towards sustainable development in Darfur.
Among the issues discussed were strategies to enhance women’s participation in leadership and decision making, as well as in peace negotiations and conflict resolution processes. The women also discussed safety concerns and strategies for development. The participants sought ways to strengthen women’s networks so they can contribute more meaningfully towards sustainable peace and access opportunities to empower them.
Addressing the forum, UNAMID Deputy Police Commissioner, Frank Sammy Kwofie called for a collaborative approach to combating violence against women and girls, as well as promoting their economic advancement.
“Despite progress in some areas, women and girls in Darfur still face multiple challenges to gender equality, such as limited access to education and economic opportunities,” he said.
Mr. Kwofie highlighted the Mission’s support to women in Darfur, including through capacity building and the establishment of mechanisms such as the Darfur Women’s Legislative Caucus and the Women’s Protection Networks at internally displaced persons (IDP) camps.
UN Women Country Representative for Sudan, Adjaratou Fatou Ndiaye, said the best way to protect women was “to empower them so they can claim their rights, participate in decisions making, be economically self-sufficient and take care of their needs and those of their families.”
One of the participants, the Head of the Women’s Protection Networks at IDP camps in West Darfur, Ms. Mariam Adam Hussein, commended the UN’s continued support to displaced women in Darfur.
The participants called for the full implementation of the outcomes of the Darfur Internal Dialogue and Consultations (DIDC). They appealed for income generating projects, especially in voluntary return areas, and implored the donor community to increase funding for women’s programmes in Darfur.
The Deputy Wali (Governor) of North Darfur, Mr. Mohammed Brima Hassab Al Nabi, expressed the Government’s commitment to empowering women.