Investment on Children and Women Is Important: Dr. Fatima

Haffiya Elyas

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Security and Social Development, Dr. Fatima Ahmed Fadl said it is important to improve the investment on children and women, saying that Sudanese Women are capable to demonstrate their abilities in craft making.
“This day is a pivotal point in the Movement for women’s rights. and balance for a better world.  She stressed the role of the Ministry and its interest in women’s issues and its empowerment by developing policies and strategies that enhance its role in social, economic, cultural and political life and to promote and improve its status so that it can play their  role as an integral and active partner in building society”, Fatima said .

She pointed out that all women have a space in the microfinance programs and the good loan and safety nets produced through the leap of women in the prospects of national dialogue and to the provisions of social protection programs were the projects of the National Pension and Insurance fund and social safety programs.

The Undersecretary said that the Ministry has laid down the infrastructure to achieve social protection for the woman… This year’s slogan comes (we aspire to equality…  Intelligently build..  Innovation for Change… I stressed the renewed commitment and determination to move forward for women’s rights and to support their participation in social protection and sustainable development

Women’s Right to Confer Nationality on Children:

The Supreme Court of Sudan reaffirmed the right of Sudanese women to confer nationality on their children in a July 6 decision. This important advancement for gender equal nationality rights underscores the need for Sudan’s Nationality Act to be aligned with the country’s Interim Constitution and international law.

Though the Interim Constitution (2005) enshrines the equal right of men and women to pass nationality to their children, the Sudanese Nationality Act (amended 2011) retains several provisions that discriminate against women. While Sudanese men automatically confer citizenship on their children, the children of Sudanese women and foreign fathers are required to submit an application in order to acquire citizenship. Sudanese women are also unable to confer nationality on foreign spouses, a right reserved for Sudanese men. The Nationality Act further states that nationals who acquire South Sudanese citizenship will be stripped of their Sudanese citizenship.

The Supreme Court’s decision focused on Adel Burai Ramadan, a formerly Sudanese citizen who was stripped of his nationality on the basis that his (formerly Sudanese) father acquired South Sudanese citizenship. In stripping Ramadan of this citizenship, the Ministry did not recognize Ramadan’s right to citizenship from the maternal line. The Court ordered that Sudanese citizenship be restored to Ramadan without delay.

By holding that the Interim Constitution guarantees Ramadan’s right to Sudanese citizenship, the Supreme Court’s decision is a major step towards equal nationality rights for Sudanese women.

While an important milestone, the Nationality Act must be reformed to bring it in line with the Interim Constitution, thereby helping to ensure that local authorities uphold women’s right to pass nationality to their children. For the Nationality Act to enshrine gender equality, it must also uphold women’s ability to confer nationality on spouses on an equal basis with Sudanese men, in line with international human rights law.

Better Opportunities

According to UN Women, Women’s unpaid time burdens are significant. An overwhelming majority of local women (96 percent) said they spend over 40 hours per week on unpaid household activities such as child care, cooking, cleaning, and wood and water fetching and so on. The local average was 87 unpaid hours per week.
Women want more and better opportunities for paid work and income  generation. Only two out of five women (41 percent) said they had been paid for work outside the home within the previous month, despite working long hours  on unpaid household work and subsistence farming for household food supply.

High demand for land and credit are not being sufficiently met. Four out of  five women (79 percent) said access to credit would greatly increase their  opportunities for income generation, yet only one in five (23 percent) had an opportunity to access a credit within the previous six months. An overwhelming majority – 88 percent – also said better access to land would  greatly increase their opportunities for income generation.
Women’s ability to ensure household food security is strained. Four out of five  women (79 percent) said they borrowed money at least once in the previous six  months to afford food for the household, and fewer than 6 out of 206 surveyed  women were able to access emergency food aid despite being in an active  emergency context.
Women show a high readiness to engage in mobile financial services. More  than four out of five women (83 percent) said they are currently using mobile  phones to send or receive funds, including remittances. Many said they feel  safer using mobile money transfer than a formal bank account or line of credit.
Women feel local authorities do not understand their economic needs, indicating  scope for further sensitizing local authorities to the rights and needs of women and
to the benefits of gender-inclusive development strategies. Nearly three out of four  women (73 percent) said local authorities do not understand their economic needs.
Women are significantly more satisfied with their influence over economic decisions  in the household than in the community. Women said they are 34 percent more  satisfied with their ability to influence economic decision-making in the household  than in the community, suggesting households are an important space where  women see themselves as having comparatively more voice and agency.

Women’s collectives and mixed-gender farming cooperatives serve a number  of economic, social and political functions. Nearly three out of four women (74  percent) said they have gained access to land through membership in a women’s  group, collective and/or mixed-gender farming cooperative.

Interpersonal relationships are key for strengthening resilience and helping communities transform and adapt to issues of concern.

Women and men see training activities as opportunities for skills development and safe spaces where community building and personal growth take priority.

Over 700 women, men, youth and local authorities gained access to vocational and literacy  training and rights education through the Badya Centre programme. Women  said they look forward to Badya’s literacy courses as more than just a learning  opportunity, but also as a space to forge friendships and address sensitive issues.

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