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A year of suffering for Sudanese women and girls

Since fighting broke out on April 15, more than 1 million have been displaced

One year after war erupted between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on 15 April 2023, Sudan is facing one of the fastest unfolding crises globally, with unprecedented needs.

United Nations Women is worried about the devastating impact, particularly on women and girls.

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UN Women, in a statement issued on Sunday, called on the international community to ensure that the conflict in Sudan does not become a neglected crisis.

“Sudanese women and girls are paying a heavy price for this violence, bearing the brunt of a humanitarian crisis that remains largely invisible to the world,” it said.

The organisation that promotes gender equality and the empowerment of women further released grim statistics highlighting the effects of the civil war.

It stated that 53 per cent of internally displaced are women and girls, with a growing risk that the violence will soon create the world’s largest hunger crisis, a situation that puts more than 7,000 new mothers at risk of dying in the coming months if their nutritional and health needs remain unmet.

It disclosed that over 6.7 million people are at risk of gender-based violence and reports of intimate partner violence, sexual exploitation and abuse, and trafficking in persons are widespread and increasing.

“Survivors report rarely able to access services or report to authorities. The economic impact of the conflict has further marginalized women, stripping them of livelihood opportunities and pushing many towards extreme measures and the risk of sexual exploitation and abuse as they seek to support their families” it said.

UN Women at the same time hailed the courage and bravery of Sudanese women and women’s rights organizations, who continue to advocate for peace and a return to democratic governance at different fora.

“Their participation in peace processes and humanitarian responses is not just beneficial but necessary for creating lasting peace and security.”

Consequently, the organisation has called for immediate steps to ensure the protection of women and girls, support their economic empowerment, and include them in peace negotiations and decision-making.

“We urge international partners and donors to invest in local, women-led organizations and prioritize resources to address the gender dimensions of this crisis. UN Women stands with the people of Sudan during this difficult time and reiterates the Secretary-General’s call for an immediate halt to the fighting and a return to dialogue” the organization appealed.

“Respect for human rights and international law must prevail, with perpetrators of human rights violations held accountable. Only then can we hope to restore democracy and build a peaceful and secure future for all in Sudan” it added.

 

 

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