Caucus calls for more women seats in Sudan

Team Embrace women caucus when they met their Sudanese counterparts at a Naivasha hotel yesterday. They called for equal representation of women in the newly-formed Sudan transitional government. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]
Kenya’s women leaders are supporting their counterparts in Sudan for inclusion in the transitional government.

This comes a day after Abdalla Hamdok was appointed the new Prime Minister in a three-year transition to civilian rule.

Mr Hamdok’s appointment followed the swearing-in of Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan as leader of the new Sovereign Council.

Yesterday, the Team Embrace women caucus met their Sudanese counterparts at a Naivasha hotel for bench-marking where the issue of inclusion of more women in the Sudan government was discussed broadly.

The Sudanese women leaders comprising Nagda Mansour, activist and vice president of Forces of the Margin Alliance, Munira Alsayed, president of the Sudanese Democratic Women Union and Zainab Badr Eldien, member of No Oppression for Women Group Initiative, welcomed the transitional process.

They said it’s the right time and place for women and youth to be at the centre of established structures in the newly-formed government.

In a joint communique, the women agreed to push for 50 per cent of the positions in the transitional government, as prescribed in the African Union requirements of equal representation of women and men and the Sudan Draft Declaration Charter. The draft requires at least 40 per cent of women representation.

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“Women of Sudan from all walks of life, political, religious and economic persuasion appreciate the need for unity and stability of the nation,” read the statement in part.

They lauded Sudanese and celebrated the Political Accord and Constitutional Declaration signed by the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) and the Transitional Military Council (TMC). They said FFC demonstrated goodwill in including a woman from their five slots as well as having a second woman under the consensus individual in the council.

“We applaud the FFC for including one woman from the five slots as well as having the second woman under the consensus individual in the council, bringing the number of women to two,”  the statement read by Nairobi County Speaker Beatrice Elachi, stated. They, however, said the number falls below the 50 per cent African Union requirement of equal representation of women and men and the South Sudan Draft Declaration Charter that requires at least 40 per cent of women representation.

Risks involved

Women, they said, have the ability to lead, mobilise, adapt and commit to change no matter how long it takes and the risks involved.

“With immense leadership and resilience the women of South Sudan have shown their deep desire and capabilities for a better Sudan,” Ms Mansour said.

The women vowed to continue pushing for meaningful and equitable participation of women in the internal and external political process in Sudan.

They hope the Prime Minister shall ensure that women are included in the Cabinet. “We recognise that the establishment of the cabinet is being discussed and we hope as women, the Prime Minister shall ensure we are included,” Zainab said.

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