Sudan is still in a transition period with the secession of South Sudan in July 2011 and the subsequent loss of about 75% of the country’s oil resources. The economy is expected to recover gradually with revival of the agriculture industry, increases in oil production and gold mining. However, soaring inflation, a high fiscal deficit and sanctions could reduce Sudan’s potential for socio-economic development.

Nearly half (46.5%) of the population of Sudan falls below the poverty line. The 2013 Human Development Report shows Sudan with a low Human Development Index (HDI) ranking of 171 out of 183 countries despite its much higher ranking National Income (GNI). In addition, Sudan ranks 129 among 148 countries on the Gender Inequality Index in the report.

Women’s political participation has increased as a result of provisions within the Interim National Constitution and the Elections Act of 2008, which mandate 25% representation of women in parliament. This has resulted in a marked increase of women parliamentarians now exceeding the quota at 28%, but short of the international threshold of 33% women's representation in parliament.

Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) is regarded as a prevalent and critical hindering factor for human development and peace-building in Sudan. The country has a weak normative framework regarding VAWG, as it is not a state party to the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Women are disproportionately affected by the various conflicts and security situations across the country; yet their involvement in leadership and participation in peace talks, conflict resolutions, and peace building continue to reflect only token treatment.

Our programmes

Women lead and participate in decision making at all levels

We aim to influence the constitutional, legal and policy frameworks to increase women’s leadership and political participation in Sudan, as well as increasing women’s participation in local and national elections. This programme will contribute to building leadership capacities of women in parliament, parties and gender advocates to better influence policies and enhance women’s participation in the constitutional review process. It will contribute to building the capacity of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to influence policies and include women in leadership and decision making.

Women, especially the poorest and most excluded, are economically empowered and benefit from development

We aim to strengthen women’s economic empowerment through the adoption and implementation of national plans, legislations, policies, strategies and budgets. This programme also aims to enhance women’s sustainable livelihoods through gender-responsive services and access to and control over means of production, resources and markets. We support initiatives to help women at all levels enhance their employment opportunities, sustainable livelihoods and resilience, including support for microcredit grants.

Women and girls live a life free from violence

UN Women Sudan advocates for laws, policies and strategies to be developed, adopted and implemented to respond to violence against women and girls. We also aim for women and girl survivors of gender-based violence to access survivor-focused services. In Sudan, the policy environment for addressing violence against women is weak due to sensitivities on data collection, International Criminal Court (ICC) indictments against key government officials alleging violations of human rights including violence against women and stigma associated with violence against women.

Peace and security and humanitarian action are shaped by women’s leadership and participation

UN Women Sudan advocates for peace talks, conflict resolution and peace-building processes to include provisions on women’s leadership, participation and protection. We aim for women, peace and security commitments and accountability frameworks to be adopted and implemented in Sudan. This programme will contribute to enhancing the capacity and engagement of women in ongoing recovery efforts, conflict resolution and peace-building activities, including the formulation of a National Action Plan on the Security Council Resolution 1325 and developing a forum about women in peace building.

Governance and national planning fully reflect accountability for gender equality commitments and priorities

We support the adoption of national strategies and plans to commit to advancing gender equality and provide mechanisms for increasing accountability of government towards gender equality. Sudan will be developing a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) in 2014 which creates an opportunity for UN Women Sudan to engage in national planning at a strategic level. This includes integrating gender into surveys and the PRSP. This programme will also contribute to technical support and capacity building for key government institutions and other stakeholders to create gender-responsive plans and budgets.