‘Women need more representation’
EL GENEINA ( 9 Nov .) - Renowned women’s activist Safa Al Aqib tells Radio Dabanga that Darfur won’t flourish without uplifting women
Safa Al Aqib, an active Darfuri women’s rights advocate and winner of the Freedom and Human Rights Award in 2009, stressed on the need for fair and equitable power sharing between men and women.
Safa said in an interview with Radio Dabanga that the power and wealth sharing ratio of men to women needs to go up to 75:25 at least. She condemned the marginalization of women in society: “No woman yet holds a position in any local administrative bodies in Darfur.”
She added that there was no woman occupying important positions in any state commissions or ministries despite there being an abundance of women who are qualified and trained to do these jobs.
“This is unfair and unjust and I wonder why it is so. For example, why can’t Tijani Sese’s deputy at the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) be a women?” she asked.
She demanded that women must have 50 per cent reservation in the DRA under the Doha document, which is meant for the people of Darfur, which includes women. Safa called for increase in women’s representation and their presence in the president’s office by not less than 25 per cent.
Safa also demanded women’s involvement at the executive level in farmers’ and shepherds’ associations, local council departments, civil and shura council – all of which do not have any women right now.
“Unless women are represented in these committees, councils and departments, there will not be justice in Darfur and it will continue to suffer from poverty and social backwardness,” Safa said.
She pointed out that the women in Darfur form the backbone of the economy by making up 70 per cent of the work force in the traditional agricultural and food sectors of the province.
“Economic policies of the state must consider gender issues and support women and strengthen the region as well as help them play leadership roles in agricultural unions, an area which currently lacks female presence,” Safa said.