UN Women Sudan supports young women’s participation in the political process


Through roundtable discussions, capacity-building workshops, and seminars targeting women from across Sudan, UN Women Sudan empowers young women to learn skills in alliance-building and participation in political processes.

The October 25th coup in 2021 in Sudan was a setback to achieving goals set during its transitional period. To facilitate a solution to this political crisis, the trilateral mechanism was formed, consisting of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), the African Union Commission (AU) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Secretariat (IGAD).

Before the trilateral formation, UNITAMS launched a consultative process with a wide range of Sudanese stakeholders aimed at addressing the political impasse and developing a path towards democracy and peace. The consultations involved more than 800 participants, one-third of them were women. 

Sudanese women discussing alliance building during the seminar, June 2022
Sudanese women discussing alliance building during the seminar, June 2022. Photo:  UN Women Sudan. 

The consultations found there was lower achievement than the minimum 40 per cent participation and representation of women during the transitional period. Many participants advocated for retraining the minimum 40 per cent quota at all levels within all decision-making bodies and institutions.

To ensure a coordinated UN response to support women playing a key role in the political arena, UN Women, UNITAMS, and UNDP are implementing a project. The project includes roundtable discussions, capacity-building workshops, and seminars targeting women from across Sudan to discuss alliance-building and organizing participation.

“I think being part of the training workshops and roundtable is one of the best experiences I've had, despite my lack of experience in the public sphere and political work, as I was only interested in issues of child protection and Gender-Based Violence. But by participating in these workshops, I learned the skills of managing dialogue, negotiations and interventions that can respond to the current political situation. I also fully realized that women could do anything,” says Fawzia from Blue Nile state, who participated in the roundtable discussion “Women’s Leadership and Joint Action in Times of Transition”.

DSRSG, UN Women, UNDP, and UNITAMS Representatives
DSRSG, UN Women, UNDP, and UNITAMS Representatives, with women from BlueNile, ALJazira and Northern states during a roundtable discussion. July 2022. Photo:  UN Women Sudan. 

Through a consultative process with Sudanese women and organizations, the project supported Sudanese young women and women activists to establish a Women Rights Support Group (WRSG) which was considered part of the formal Sudanese political actors’ clusters engaged in the political process, and was acknowledged by the trilateral mechanism, UNITAMS, AU and IGAD.

Fawzia during the roundtable discussions
Fawzia during the roundtable discussions, addressing women’s alliance-building during political transitions, July 2022. Photo:  UN Women Sudan. 

The UNITAMS consultation report shows that the percentage of women's political participation did not exceed 15 per cent. With efforts from WRSG, this percentage increased from 15 per cent to 33 per cent. Other significant results were achieved with over 60 young women trained, and two roundtables conducted, besides delivering a series of seminars to share similar experiences from Ethiopia and Colombia.

Reham from Khartoum state participated in the seminar; ‘Women’s Role in Influencing the Colombian Peace Process.’

The seminar was a live experience. We got the chance to learn about the Colombian experience which is very similar to the Sudanese one. This experience has brought us together and gave us a hope that political stability can be achieved, it only requires time. Colombia accomplished the security reforms in 6 years, and they had only one-armed movement. In Sudan we have over 83 armed forces. With such knowledge women can work to be present in the decision-making process to ensure the achievement of sustainable comprehensive peace in Sudan,” she said.

For more information, see UNITAMS Consultation report: https://unitams.unmissions.org/en/file/3013/download?token=A_ofkuUl