Conflict in Sudan disproportionately affects women with serious implications for their safety and well-being, health and economic opportunities. At the same time, women play an invaluable role in community reconciliation and peace building.
Through support to the Darfur Community Peace and Stability Fund, managed by the UN Development Program, USAID advocated and secured support for more focus on gender issues. To prevent and mitigate the destructive consequences of gender-based violence in Darfur, USAID and other donors supported the UN Population Fund, which constructed two women’s centers in South Darfur and rehabilitated two others, established a “confidential room” in West Darfur for victims of gender-based violence, trained dozens of health care workers on clinical management of rape, and trained Darfuri men and women on women’s rights, leadership, literacy and small business management. Activities also include awareness-raising in Darfuri communities to help eliminate gender-based violence.
A series of USAID small grants are advancing the role of women in conflict mitigation and peace building, in particular in the conflict-affected states of Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan. In the spring of 2012, for example, female students from Assalam University in the western sector of Southern Kordofan came together with students from several Khartoum universities for a workshop on Sudanese identity, history and culture, which included excursions to archaeological sites and museums. Issues of identity and ethnicity have proved highly divisive in Sudan over the last two decades, and still pervade Sudanese society in the post-war era. Over the course of the week-long exchange, the 32 young women leaders began to grow a greater appreciation for the many cultures present in Sudan and to view this diversity as an asset.
Last updated: October 07, 2014