Posted by: africanpressorganization | 8 March 2010

Sudan / Speech by the DSRSG(P)- UNMIS on the occasion of the International Women’s Day Commemoration, on 8 March 2010, Khartoum / Friendship Hall




Sudan / Speech by the DSRSG(P)- UNMIS on the occasion of the International Women’s Day Commemoration, on 8 March 2010, Khartoum / Friendship Hall



KARTHOUM, Sudan, March 8, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Speech by the DSRSG(P)- UNMIS on the occasion of the International Women’s Day Commemoration, on 8 March 2010, Khartoum /Friendship Hall



Excellencies, distinguished guests,


1.    It is, indeed, an honour for me to participate in today’s commemoration of the International Women’s Day. Allow me, at the outset, to commend the Government of Sudan for its efforts to promote and protect the rights of Sudanese women, which would enhance their integration and empowerment in all spheres of societal activity.


2.    This day presents an opportunity for us, to reflect on our initiatives to encounter the challenges we face in protecting, promoting and preserving women’s rights. The principles of gender equality and the protection of rights and privileges of women are enshrined in the Interim National Constitution (INC) and the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan (December 2005). The INC not only guarantees equality to women at par with men, but, in Article 32, also advocates for representation in favor of women. These principles are further reinforced through the passage of new legislation and amendments to existing laws, aimed at removing any gender bias. In the realm of politics, for instance, the passage of the National Election Act (2008), which provides for a 25% quota for women, has translated such constitutional commitment into reality.


3.    The 1995 Beijing Platform, referred to in the Secretary-General’s address, calls for action on 12 key issues: Poverty, education and training, health, violence against women, armed conflict, economy, power and decision-making, institutional mechanism, human rights, media, environment, and girls. These thematic areas are also reflected in Sudan’s National Policy on the empowerment of women, the full implementation of which is encouraged and supported by UNMIS, as well as the wider UN family.


4.    Violence against women is a global pandemic, with up to 70 per cent of women experiencing violence at least once in their lifetime. In Sudan, UNMIS and the wider UN family are working closely with relevant government ministries, to address this important issue, through consultations. Important capacity-building activities are being conducted, to ensure women’s full and active participation, as voters and candidates in the upcoming elections. In this regard, it is heartening to know that one of the 12 presidential candidates is a woman [Ms. Fatima Abdel Mahmoud], besides a large number of female registered voters.


5.    Mindful of this year’s motto, ‘Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All’, let us continue to advocate – jointly and deliberately – for equal rights and opportunities for women, to achieve progress for all. Let us pledge to promote women’s participation in the political, economic and social development of Sudan, as well as emphasize their critical role in building a secure and just society.


6.    For the women of the world, the Day’s symbolism has a wider meaning: It is an occasion to review how far they have come in their struggle for equality, peace and development. But it is also an opportunity to unite, network and mobilize for meaningful change.


7.    I would like to end my remarks by quoting the UNSG:

“Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.”                            


Thank you.



Mission of UN in Sudan


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