Khadiga Hussein, former minister of state at the Ministry for Peace, and founder of Sudanese Mothers for Peace and Development (SMP), led a workshop on women's empowerment in Sudan at a conference on ‘Just Governance' at the international centre for Initiatives of Change in Caux, Switzerland.
SMP has conducted a 25 year-long campaign for women's development with a wide variety of projects in all parts of Sudan, including training in literacy, skills for income generation, and advocacy.
Mama Khadiga expressed her concern about instability, human rights abuses and armed conflict in Sudan, particularly in Darfur, Blue Nile, Kordofan, and on the border with South Sudan, and her fear that it may spread.
Apart from the tragic loss of life, she said, the effect of these conflicts are that families lose land, livestock and other assets, and the overall vulnerability of the communities increases tremendously. Women, despite their critical role in the family and community, are generally undermined and considered as a ‘low voice' group.
In order to give women a voice at this time, SMP has collected 8000 signatures from women in Internally Displaced People's camps for an appeal to all parties to the conflict to end the killing. It calls for peaceful political negotiation to secure peace, justice, human rights and democracy for every citizen in Sudan.