Sudan Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 19 | 5 – 25 November 2018
• Sudan celebrates the international day for the elimination of violence against women.
• About 500 Sudanese refugees were assisted to return from Chad since 22 November 2018.
• Over 1,000 Ethiopians who fled to eastern Sudan following inter-communal clashes in Ethiopia in November, have returned home.
• In East Darfur, about 75 per cent of primary-school aged refugee children living out of camps are out of school.
• 7,100 villages across Sudan have been targeted for the roll out of community-based surveillance programmes
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
To celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Government of Sudan and the United Nations launched the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence in Khartoum on 26 November. This year the overarching theme is “together for Sustainable Protection of Women and Children”. There were activities and engagement at all levels across the country focusing on ending child marriage, girl’s education, access to justice for women, peace and leadership as well as women’s safety and security.
The campaign was launched with a press conference in Khartoum in which the State Minister of Security and Social Development, the Head of the Federal Unit of Combating Violence Against Women (CVAW) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) addressed press agencies, journalists, television and local radio.
The Director of CVAW unit introduced the theme, messages and major activities that will be carried out by government and partners throughout the campaign. The State Minister of Security and Social Development, affirmed the political support to women and girls in Sudan as highlighted the major initiatives led by the government to support ongoing advocacy efforts to combat violence against women. UNFPA highlighted the role the agency has played on combating violence against women across the country.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign originating from the first Women's Global Leadership Institute in 1991. It serves to raise awareness and increase momentum towards ending violence against women and girls.
More than a third of women worldwide have experienced violence at some point in their lives.
A multisector programme to target the country’s high FGM prevalence Nine years ago, one community in Sudan decided to follow recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and abandon the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM).
Since then, Tuti Island, a community of 21,000 residents located at the juncture where the White Nile and Blue Nile rivers merge, has been part of the growing movement to end FGM.
Today, more than 1,000 communities in Sudan have abandoned the practice which has no health benefits and continues to violate the human rights of 200 million women and girls in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
Five years ago, WHO, joined the UN Children’s Agency (UNICEF) and UNFPA programme in supporting the Government of Sudan’s call for a “Sudan Free From Female Genital Cutting”. As part of the programme—funded by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Department for International Development (DFID)—WHO has been working to strengthen the health sector’s response to FGM by halting “medicalization” – when the practice is performed by midwives and other healthcare providers.
“FGM is a human rights violation breaching the health profession’s code of ethics to ‘do no harm’. WHO and partner UN agencies are opposed to the medicalization of FGM,” says Dr Naeema Al-Gaseer, WHO Country Representative for Sudan.
Working with the Sudan Ministry of Health, midwifery schools, and health professional associations and regulatory bodies, WHO is ensuring health professionals adhere to the recommendations laid out in its Global strategy to stop health-care providers from performing female genital mutilation.