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Women's Dilemma

The situation of women in Sudan is not one of the bests in the world in terms of gender and financial situations, Sudanese women just like many other women who live in Arab world and Islamic countries, suffer from violence based on gender , because most of Muslims men misunderstand or understand Quran verses according to their benefits and their personal desires , honestly there is intend neglecting for women and child rights in Sudan and that is because of a lot of religious believe and cultures, in my community it’s very big challenge for women to be a leader for men because the majority of men they didn’t accept to be led or supervised by a woman, and they believe that a man who led or supervised by a woman is not 100% man, which is really very bad. As a woman working with men I witnessed a lot of challenges, some men resigned from their jobs because their supervisor/ leader was a woman, and some women resigned from their jobs because they couldn’t handle these challenges, all of these due to cultures, believes, pluralism, marginalization and dimension against women, accordingly all that factors resulted on lack of knowledge about their rights. But if we took Quran as references we will find that Quran has made very clear views regarding human being issues and human rights as well, it was mentioned in Quran all people are equal (black and white, poor and rich ect…) and they have the same spirit, no superior better than other, but I am always asking myself these questions why most of men dislike or fear talking about gender, women rights issue? Why men link women rights and gender issues with religious and cultures? Is it because they fear from something or because they feel that something threatens their benefits? but when we go deep on all that we will find there is something going wrong with the women like some women saying that they cannot do anything without men, or they cannot take any decisions without consulting or take decisions from their husbands , fathers , brothers or any other men even if not related to them.
Finally if we want to look on how to empower women and strengthening their capacities, raising their awareness and make them believe in themselves, first of all women should get proper education then equal opportunities in all areas, and open horizons to be factors in all desired changes. Women should be aware that they are valuable creatures. Self team and self respect is the base of every story of success and that is what women need to know about themselves.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Ending Violence Against Women Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring an end to gender-based violence. The EVAW Campaign elicits powerful content from women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as vocal grassroots leaders, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
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Comments

Zuhal,
Thank you for your very thoughtful journal. It is so difficult to erase ones fears and change ones beliefs. I agree first women have to feel their own confidence because their rights as equals will not be given to them. It starts with them and you obviously are making those first steps. Well done.
Kathy

Zuhal Ahmed's picture

Thank you Kathy,

Thanks a lot dear Kathy for your comment,

Zuhal Ahmed
Norwegian Chuch Aid
South and West Darfur
skype: Zuhal Ahmed Abakar Fadl

flora1's picture

You are a role model

Zuhal,

You wisdom and the way you carry yourself forward and believe in yourself, sets a beautiful example. As you show them how strong and capable they are, both women and men begin to see the truth.

Thank you for knowing it is only fear that sometimes prevents men from moving beyond the old ideas about gender. We can show them that it takes nothing from them if we succeed in the world and have our own worth. Just as my breathing does not take air from you, there is enough in this world, for all of us.

Thank you for your strength.

~flora

Zuhal Ahmed's picture

Thank you Flora

Thank you very mutch dear flora for your strong comments,

best regards

Zuhal Ahmed
Norwegian Chuch Aid
South and West Darfur
skype: Zuhal Ahmed Abakar Fadl

Myrthe's picture

Thank you!

Zuhal, thank you for sharing your insights and experiences. I think you make a very good point that women have to grow in their own confidence. I like that you mention education for that, because I think education for women and girls is so very important.

You are setting a great example for other women and girls in Sudan by speaking your mind here!

Zuhal Ahmed's picture

Thank you Mythe

Thank you very much for your comments,

Zuhal Ahmed
Norwegian Chuch Aid
South and West Darfur
skype: Zuhal Ahmed Abakar Fadl

Sandra Nassali's picture

Dear Zuhal, Sudan's story is

Dear Zuhal, Sudan's story is just as sad as it in many other African and developing countries.

Gender-based violence exists in many forms – physical, sexual, psychological and economic. It can be seen in the form of violence occurring within the family setting , such as domestic violence, marital rape, harmful traditional practices, and killings, as well as in the community, such as sexual harassment and violence in the workplace, or in trans-border contexts, such as in the case of trafficking of women and girls. These are only a few examples, as violence against women exists in myriad other forms.

As women suffer these violations, they also have to cope with discriminatory laws and deeply entrenched gender inequality. It’s no wonder they live traumatic lives. When we wake up every day and listen to the radio, read a newspaper or watch the television, we are confronted with the saddening news: domestic violence, rape, defilement, maternal deaths, murders and gender discrimination among others.

And when such women seek for justice, there is lack of social support mechanisms because of the strong cultural, family and psychological pressures. Even then, most of the places where these survivors go for legal help are not trained in handling GBV related cases. Some are corrupt such as the police and Local Councils which are alleged to take bribes in cases of GBV, and are part of the culture that perpetuates violence against women

So what do we do? I think we should (both men and women) -

• Have respect for girls and women regardless of status quo
• Give necessary support to the survivors
• Speak out against VAW
• Encourage survivors to “break the silence”
• Promote a culture that fronts protection of girls and women from violence
• Report any incidences of violence to the local council or police

And in instances where justice is abuse, there is need for women and men of diverse backgrounds, and for political persuasions to act . This is because despite the changes over the years in gender awareness, formulation of the different laws and implementation of programs, GBV problems remain a big challenge.

Sandra

Dear Zuhal,
First of all, I would like to congratulate you for facing the challenges successfully with courage, with dignity in a male dominated society.

As I am also working in a male dominated field, and have got the opportunity of working at different countries, I think more or less in every country women face challenging situations and gender bias exist in some or other form. But yes, as you have pointed out in muslim countries situation is worse. At times women in these countries are deprived of their fundamental rights.

Muslim men interpret the Quranic verses according to their need and their ego. They make their own rules, which benefits them and hide themselves under the name of Islam. You are very much right, Islam is the religion, which has always taught equality beyond race, gender, money or geographic boundaries; it has never taught gender bias. Rather Islam has introduced women rights. But unfortunately everything is limited to the Book now, rare to find it in practice.

I too find myself asking these questions often. But as Flora has put forward ‘our breathing does not take air from them’. All we need to do is ‘to be strong’. You know what, I have realized, at times we have to snatch our rights, we need to raise voice against the injustice, against the bias to survive in this male dominated world. As it is said ‘charity begins at home’, to eradicate the gender bias the first step has to be from the woman. She needs to be strong and she needs to step ahead but with grace, with dignity and her self-respect. Gail Evans’s book ‘Play like a man, win like a woman’ describes puts it all together very nicely. Sandra has also summarized great points. We all need to give strength to each other and work together to bring about positive changes by encouraging women, by promoting women education and sending out strong messages in different forums just like world pulse does. I think its a great forum and is working towards a great cause. It is giving wonderful opportunities to send strong messages far and wide.

Finally, Zuhal dear, the society needs role models like you, the women need the inspiring stories like yours. Thank you for being one. May God bless you!

With cart loads of wishes
Nusrat

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. ..........Hellen Keller

Zuhal Ahmed's picture

Thank You very much dear All

Thank you very much dear Sandra and Nusrat for your comments, I am so impressed by your very good understanding of women rights, all information you have shared with me it’s really useful for me and for all people who read this article, dear Nusrat I do agree with you in all what you have said, (We all need to give strength to each other and work together to bring positive changes by encouraging and promoting women education and sending out strong messages), I like this dear Nusrat. finally I would really love to have the chance to meet you to discuss and shear so many information with you regarding women rights in Sudan and some Muslims country,
Thanks and best regards

Zuhal Ahmed
Norwegian Chuch Aid
South and West Darfur
skype: Zuhal Ahmed Abakar Fadl

nusrat1977's picture

I would love to...

Dear Zuhal,
I am so glad that my comments made sense. Actually, I am not a professional of women rights, but may be difficult situations have brought out that part of mine and yes, I do mean and really think that we need to give strength to each other to overcome and live through the hard situations, even otherwise 'unity is strength'. I am so touched and humbled when you say you would love to meet. Thank you so much. Actually, in my previous university, my colleague was from Sudan. I was telling him, I want to go to Sudan and teach in university for a short period. I do not know, when my work commitments will allow me but I definitely and looking forward to any such opportunity to reach out and contribute a little, hopefully (God willing). And now that I have found you, a professional in such issues, I hope some opportunity flows in, we meet and work together.
Take care and please be in touch. We are together and we will make a difference by grace of God.
Luv and regards
Nusrat

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. ..........Hellen Keller

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