A year of suffering for Sudanese women and girls


[Also available in Arabic]

Sudan’s current conflict, which marks its one-year point this week, is having a devastating impact on the people of Sudan, particularly women and girls. The conflict has reversed the gains made towards democracy and stability, leaving the country in suffering and insecurity, while facing a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. UN Women calls 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. Sudan is among the largest internal displacement crises in the world. 53 per cent of those internally displaced are women and girls, and there is a growing risk that the violence will soon create the world’s largest hunger crisis. More than 7,000 new mothers could die in the coming months if their nutritional and health needs remain unmet.

More than 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 being 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.

Mariam Djimé Adam, a refugee from Sudan with eight children, is seen in the yard of a secondary school in the neighbouring country of Chad..
Mariam Djimé Adam, a refugee from Sudan with eight children, is seen in the yard of a secondary school in the neighbouring country of Chad. Photo: UNICEF/Annadjib Ramadane Mahamat

Women and girls, often the first responders in crises, are not only victims of this violence but also pivotal to the survival and resilience of their communities. UN Women salutes 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 forums. Their participation in peace processes and humanitarian responses is not just beneficial but necessary for creating lasting peace and security.

Immediate steps must be taken 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. 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.