During the 2018-2019 revolution, young women headed persistent, nonviolent activism that called for democratic transformation and resulted in the removal of the Bashir regime. However, while there have been some efforts to include women in the transitional government, women – and especially young women – are under-represented in the emerging political processes of the transitional period.
To try to help address this, in February/March, CDI’s Sudan Team held two workshops with 37 young women on advancing women’s participation during the transition period. Both workshops focused on strategies for increasing women’s participation in the constitution process and other transitional processes, and involved very rich discussions and exchanges of experiences with young women from across the country.
Specifically, attendees discussed the mechanisms for increasing women’s participation in the case examples of Afghanistan, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, India, Kenya, and Rwanda, and which of those could potentially be used in Sudan. They also conducted a SWOT analysis of the women’s movement in Sudan, identifying challenges and how the strengths of the movement could address those challenges, as well as how they could overcome weaknesses in the movement by maximizing opportunities.
Half of the women came from Khartoum, and half traveled from marginalized areas across the country, providing a platform for young women with diverse backgrounds and perspectives to meet together. They shared their experiences with advocating for women’s rights and for increased participation, learned from each other, and strengthened networks and built trust. Multiple women commented that the workshops provided a good platform for exchanging information on how women’s experiences vary in different areas in Sudan.
Many of the young women requested follow-on workshops, and CDI is planning to continue the work. Topics for future potential workshops include election laws and processes, how to include international gender conventions and treaties in national legal frameworks, and more details on constitution processes.