VOF Week 4: (Gender and Women Popular Media in Sudan)
Ensuring a society where women will be capable of defending their rights and standing on an equal footing with men, is my personal vision for my community and the world at large,
Therefore I will do my best to spare my daughter all social injustice and help her choose a better future.
I believe that inside every woman, there is an inherent gender-aware female.
Has any one been lucky enough to witness how change could be introduced in a given society?
Where I come from, the outskirts of the city is swarming with displaced communities where little attention is paid to the sufferings of women and the main concern of governmental authorities is to send them back to the environment from which they fled without improving their social status or solving the initial socio-economic issues which led to their displacement in the first place. In these communities women discovered the importance of standing up and addressing inequalities despite the fact that none of them had ever heard of gender issues.
In Sudan, women liberation movement started in the mid 1940s, in Omdurman, west of Khartoum, nonetheless it flourished only in urban centers and big cities far from the grassroots. A group of educated women led the struggle which was crowned by parliamentary representation and equal payment for equal work, in the early 1960s while the grassroots in rural areas weren't aware of this gain. I guess the vast geographical area of Sudan and the ethnic diversity were to be blamed.
Political turmoil, tribal conflict, famines, marginalization, domestic violence, etc. forced village dwellers to move to the urban centers where they came face to face with the rapidly changing world. They were faced with hostility and harassment from the surrounding society and the authorities. Oppressed, displaced, single, migrant mothers became subject to social and governmental injustice and had to resist violence, fake accusations, stereotyping and defamation, and continuous efforts to abandon their professions. " One of them told me last year, when I interrogated her, that she prefers going to jail than being associated to a profession she wouldn't accept."
If feminism is to take different forms of struggles then the displaced Sudanese women example has chosen confrontation. Women experienced frequent displacement, imprisonment and loss of lives but they never gave up. After a decade and a half, they are still fighting.
Who would believe that the seeds of gender-awareness are flourishing among the slums illiterate, marginalized women?!
THIS IS WHAT I CONSIDER CHANGE UNDER PROCESSION.
With some training, discussion sessions, literacy classes and empowerment, their role in community development will be greater.
Wise consultation is needed to ensure these women's participation in designing programs suitable for promoting life in similar environments, and a powerful organization to protect their rights and interests is a priority.
Change –my dears-is contagious.
The poor and needy women from conservative urban families joined in procession.
Another example of these spontaneously gender-aware women in Western Sudan is the Hakkama who is an elderly, highly respected woman symbolizing ethical standards such as generosity, courage and magnanimity. Poetry and singing are her main weapons. Relying on a basis of full knowledge of genealogy and history she is the peace- builder, war agitator, and history-teller and, in spite of the technological revolution, she still plays an important role in the communities of Kurdufan and Darfur.
It is frustrating that urban centers never plan to benefit of her eloquence to cover for deliberate absence of women's issues in the media, or her song-composition skills for elevation of gender- related violence, at the time foreign organizations benefited of (hakkamas) potentials for the service of their goals?!
As a woman who had suffered several types of injustice and succeeded to overcome some and had my ups and downs, I know what deprivation means. I, being a correspondent, will give women like me, the chance to be heard and understood.
Public, mass and local media including Hakkama and her types will be used to get the message delivered...
I hope to get the chance as a correspondent, but otherwise to be permitted to stay on the web as women's of environment from which I came deserves to be given a chance.