Empowering women for peace and recovery in East Sudan

The project seeks to provide seeds funding for the priority areas of peace building through women economic empowerment and will work as a pilot to stimulate other donors who committed to support the implementation of ESPA (East Sudan Peace Agreement) to complement this fund.

Donor: United Nations Peacebuilding Fund
Geographical Area of Implementation: Eastern Sudan, Gedarif and Kassala states
Target beneficiaries: Women in east Sudan
Implementing partners: State Ministry of Social Welfare, Offices of State Gender Advisors, NGOs/CSOs/CBOs, UN Women
Contacts: Ms. Kholoud Alkhaldi, Senior Enterprise Development Specialist

Project background

About 80% of Sudan’s population is directly dependent on the natural environment for survival and competition over limited local resources is a key driver of conflict in Sudan. Local conflicts have been exacerbated by socio-economic and political marginalization, the spread of small arms and weak local governance. Furthermore, Eastern Sudan suffers from some of the lowest development indicators seen amongst states in Sudan and the level of poverty is very high, especially across rural areas, particularly those parts of the region that were most affected by the armed conflict.

Women make up half the population of the three States of East Sudan and occupy a central role in the family and labour force. Women constitute the majority of the rural population and are at the heart of agriculture and livestock related activities. Women also generate income in these areas through small-scale animal husbandry activities, through the production of handcrafts and by processing food substances such as oil and butter.

Women have been heavily affected by the conflict, as many have suffered displacement and human right violations. The conflict has further deteriorated their social and economic status in society and limited their opportunities for education, productive livelihoods, access to health services and participation in political and decision making processes. Persistent barriers to women’s advancement in the region include the prevalence of tribal politics that marginalize women from participating in decision making processes. For instance, the use of traditional tenure systems curtails the ability of women to own land, livestock and to hold other economic assets.

Majority of women who work in the informal economy are sole heads of households and have come to main towns after being displaced – leaving them in a position of acute and particular vulnerability. They suffer from very limited access to resources, particularly land and grants. The high level of literacy, the early marriage practice and the traditional culture that confines women to the household leave them with very low capacities and lack of training and thus they have very limited access to jobs and employability.

Implementation strategy

The project seeks to provide seeds funding for the priority areas of peace building through women economic empowerment and will work as a pilot to stimulate other donors who committed to support the implementation of ESPA ( East Sudan Peace Agreement) to complement this fund. This project will level the ground for the women in East Sudan to bring their needs into reality and to stimulate national and international community to support women’s needs and agenda in the implementation phase.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The project will employ a rights based approach and conflict sensitive planning tools to achieve the following specific objectives:
  • Amplifying women’s economic opportunities by building their skills and provide them access to information and resources.
  • Promoting women’s roles in the local tribal socio-economic structures and improving their access to land and other resources.
  • Integrating women’s priorities in reconstruction plans and projects at the state and federal levels.
  • Promoting the social, civic, and economic rights of women in Eastern Sudan.

The expected outcomes of the project are:

  • Livelihoods of conflict affected vulnerable households/women stabilized through income generation and technical & entrepreneurial skills training.
  • Framework for integration of women’s priorities in the reconstruction plans developed.
  • Women’s roles in the land tenure system and the tribal controlled resources improved.