Sudan: US diplomat calls for law enforcement to empower women in Sudan

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - US Ambassador at large for global women issues Catherine Russells has called on the government of Sudan to implement the strong laws it created for the betterment of women, saying that was the only way for the country to go forward.

Concluding a two day visit to Sudan,  Ms. Russells, pointed out that she had the opportunity to meet with a wide range of people from Sudanese society, including government officials, students, entrepreneurs, and representatives from civil society and international organizations.

“It is clear that Sudan’s ability to ensure that women and girls are protected and empowered will determine how successful the country will be going forward,” she stressed.

Ms. Russells noted that she had heard from the government about plans to address issues like gender-based violence, including female genital mutilation (FGM) and early and forced marriage, as well as other areas where legal reforms were needed.  

“I look forward to seeing progress in the government’s efforts to pass strong laws on gender equality—including laws that raise the minimum age of marriage, ban FGM, and address gender-based violence—and to promote women’s roles in the peace process," she said.

According to the US diplomat, having strong laws is an essential step that must be followed by implementation and enforcement, as well efforts to increase access to services for survivors of gender-based violence across the country.

Ms. Russells was of  the view that government efforts on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls would be more successful, if a full range of civil society groups are consulted and engaged.  

She stressed that the government of Sudan should expand space for civil society because they are important partners for the country.

On her meetings with the Sudanese communities, Ms. Russels said that she has met many amazing women who were working to create a better future for their country.  

She described those women as having started organizations that empower young people, promote education, and engage men and boys as allies for women’s empowerment.

“The women I met this week are proof that women’s full and meaningful participation in the peace process, the National Dialogue, and political decision-making is critical to lasting peace and prosperity in Sudan,”  Ms. Russells said.

She added that these vanguard women were breaking barriers for women in fields like engineering, sports, law, and medicine.
-0- PANA MO/AR 26April2016

26 april 2016 16:30:22

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