A better life for women and girls


B26, Sudan, | August 8th, 2017

Poverty, marginalisation, traditions and customs together with gender blind plans and policies contribute to gender inequality in Sudan.

Women and girls are traditionally responsible of all domestic work in Sudanese houses.  Moreover, they are burdened by water and wood daily fetching journeys which consume between three to eight hours per day in the dry regions of Darfur, Kordofan and East Sudan. Housewives spend much time and effort on unpaid activities (water and wood fetching) and are exposed to sometimes fatal hazards associated with sexual violence, abortion incidences and severe injuries.

Water pump SudanAdolescent girls often drop out of school to help their families with domestic work and to look after their younger siblings in the absence of mothers. Young women lack the knowledge and skills required to engage in formal employment and are trapped in the poverty cycle without any income generating sources.

These dependant girls are usually married under-age which increases morbidity and mortality rates among mothers and newborns. Registered early marriage between girls 15-19 years reached 26% in the rural areas of Sudan. Shockingly, child marriage for girls under 15 reaches 10% in the same areas.

Practical Action Sudan puts women at the heart of its work. In our three year strategic business plan 2017-2020, we intend to prioritise women needs and transform their lives in a positive way that will impact the whole community.

Women associations and institutions are identified as key actors in our programme. They represent our main implementing partners and supporting researchers in the field of clean fuels. Rural women are involved in our projects at community level and participate in the development process through participating in activities such as membership of water committees in WASH projects. They also manage women farms in agricultural-resilience projects and grow nutritious food for their children and to increase families’ incomes.

WDAN, SudanThrough increasing women participation; we open the door for thousands of women to be socially empowered. Our participatory approaches and actions ensure that women needs and priorities are well-represented and they are equally involved in the projects.

“I and village’s women walk to fetch water in the early morning and return back by the sunset! our kids stay without food for long time.” Haleema, 43 years old, from Mogabil Village, North Darfur

Building the capacity of rural women and girls is one of the most important strategies of tackling poverty among women and their families. Training programs support women to become effective income generators, and empower them to create their own market opportunities and improve their livelihoods.

community meeting sudanMany life changing experiences on the ground tell inspiring stories about Sudanese women who have moved from poverty, dependency and ignorance into productivity, independence and participation in decision-making as a socio-economical impact of our development interventions in rural areas. I believe that the approaches we adopt are very effective, as women’s empowerment is not a decision to be taken or a service to be delivered; it is a process of improving the environment of women and equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills to find their way and embrace opportunities with dignity.

“The training program delivered by Practical Action staff has empowered us and upgraded our capacity to expand our network and reach greater number of rural women.” Hanan Zayed, Head of Kassala Women Development Associations Network

Our team in Sudan will continue the steps we have planned toward empowering women and changing their lives. We believe that the track toward gender transformation is long and tough; however continuous hard work and advocacy efforts will ensure we achieve our ambition and help millions of Sudanese women to achieve the good life they deserve.

5 responses to “A better life for women and girls”

  1. Nahid Ali Says:

    Thanks Samah for reflecting your ideas and knowledge in this amazing blog

  2. Athar Says:

    I was shocked last week when my educated nighbour circumcisied her 6 years old daughter so great efforts must be done and I think you can .

  3. Encourager Says:

    Dear Samah,
    Insightful & impressing blog as you reflect all the great activities that can be implemented to empower women in rural areas. Samah, you are very good writer I believe in that since long time keep writing please.
    Best of luck!

  4. Samah Omer Says:

    Many thanks for all of you.. We will work hard for and with women for better future

  5. Pratyush Prabhakar Says:

    Amazing! Keep up the good work. You all are real life heroes who are helping the cause of humanity. Best wishes from India!

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