The Face of Sudan’s democratic transition ‘is female and it is young’
Dr. Natalia Kanem, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), commended Sudan’s transition to democracy after concluding a mission in the State towards the end of March, 2021.
“Less than two years after the transition, remarkable progress has been made. We support progress to meet the aspirations of the people of Sudan”, Dr. Kanem stated.
Moreover, she appreciated the active role played by women and the youth and their recognition by the State as “agents of change” for democracy and human rights.
“The face of the transition is female and it is young. Investing in women and young people is an investment in the nation, an investment in the future, and a driver for peace and development”, Dr. Kanem added.
Mama Igbal & the campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM)
Igbal Mohamed Abbas most commonly known as “Mama Igbal” is a community leader campaigning against female genital mutilation and founder of the Family and Child Friendship Association in Tuti Island of Sudan.
Mama Igbal who fell victim to the cruel practice of “cutting”, relentlessly worked towards eradicating such abhorrent practices.
“When we hear that a family intends to cut their daughters, we pack our coffee cups and go talk to them”, Mama Igbal said.
As a result of her perseverance and committeemen to the protection of young girls and women, Tuti Island declared zero tolerance against FGM in 2011. Furthermore, she was able to form strong alliances with religious leaders, as well as establish income generating workshops to economically empower women.
Mama Igbal is of the conviction that transforming cultural norms and beliefs must come from within the community. “It is all about how to plant the conviction in people that change is necessary – a law only cannot do that.” She states.
The Impact of Women and the Youth :
The resilience of young Sudanese women and men were the catalyst for change that brought about the revolution. Through the protests and public advocacy of the frustrated youth, the once selective democratic space was enlarged.
Similarly, it is evident that Sudanese women bring about a more inclusive approach in regards to security as they shed light on key socio-economic issues that are often overlooked.
Hence, within that context, it can be said that the strengths and innovation of women and the youth contributes to the advancement of peace and security in the country.