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Sudan launches the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign
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16 days of activism against gender-based violence
25 November marks the International Day Against Violence Against Women and the launch of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. These 16 days will demonstrate the solidarity with women around the world to stop violence against women and to create the tools and concrete actions to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women.
In Sudan, the event was launched jointly by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Development under the theme of Together for sustainable protection of women, girls and children from gender-based violence. The Ministry of Labour and Social Development is currently working to amend Sudanese laws that discriminate against women and girls. The Ministry will look into issues of domestic violence, women’s rights, child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) both at the federal and state levels through institutions already established for the purpose of protecting women and girls. It is not only laws that have to be changed but also the cultural norms, practices and traditions that harm women and girls and violate their basic human rights. Awareness-raising will play a major part in this endeavour.
This international campaign originated from the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991. The dates chosen for the campaign symbolically link violence against women and human rights to emphasize that violence is a violation of human rights. The campaign runs from 25 November (International Day Against Violence Against Women) until 10 December (International Human Rights Day).
The Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women states that discrimination against women shall mean any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex, which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.
Currently, Sudan is working towards endorsing the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and work is underway to endorse it. Meanwhile, gender-based violence (GBV) continues to be a major concern in Sudan with 1.8 million people in dire need of GBV prevention, mitigation and response. Women and girls continue to suffer disproportionately from GBV, poverty and violations of basic rights due to insecurity, low economic status and lack of livelihood opportunities, lack of community awareness on women’s rights due to cultural and societal norms. About 55 per cent of displaced people are women and girls, with 27 per cent of those women below the age of 18. Female genital mutilation (FGM) remains prevalent in Sudan, affecting 87 per cent of women aged 15 to 49 years and 32 per cent of girls aged up to 14 years old.
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs