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VOF Week 4: (Gender and Women Popular Media in Sudan)

Cameraman_Isam_Abdel_Hafeez.jpg

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?
I HAVE!
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.

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Comments

LOGWELL's picture

Dear Halima, You post brought

Dear Halima,

You post brought tear to my eyes. You have raised questions that I have burning within me all the time and I feel connected to what you are saying. Women issues have been sidelined in most media across the world. But more so local media. I come from Kenya and women issues are only given the inside pages of the newspaper if at all covered!

It is true that whenever there is conflict, it is the women who suffer most! My heart goes out to women in Darfur, Mogadishu, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan because they suffer most under their circumstances. By joining world pulse you have become the voice of these women!

You have a great vision Halima!!!

Kudos

Linda

Dear logwell,

I agree with you that women's issues are magrginalised most time, even in what is called women press. Cosmetics, fashion, cooking are the main concern of such press or media. No need to remind you who are in charge of that kind of publications.

I am so happy to hear a voice from Keneya. I appreciate your feelings and words.

Jocelynbrazil's picture

VOF listener

Dear Halima,
Thank you so much for your thought provoking and exciting post. Your writing is so rich and information filled, yet also speaks with a very strong voice and a very clear vision.
I was so moved. Thank you.
Jocelyn

Halima Mohamed Abdel rahman's picture

Thank You

Dear Jocelynbrazil,

Thank you so much for your comment. I am so happy that you have read the story of these courageous women, and that I could communicate their struggle for living.
In a recent development, those women led a big manifestation in the Khartoum's streets, condemning the transfer of bus station to a new location, equipped with new cafeterias, and they were denied the right to sell food and tea there as usual.

Halima

JaniceW's picture

Congratulations

I am so happy for you in advancing to phase two of VOF. Your powerful voice has done much to raise awareness of the struggles women in Sudan face every day and I am so glad that we have provided a platform for you to speak out for the silent and unheard. It is an honour to have you as a member of PulseWire and I look forward to reading more from you as VOF continues. Best wishes...

Hi Janice,

Million thanks for Your comment and lovely words that have a great effect on me.

I owe to this giant website and its devoted team giving me a chance to enjoy the company of such courageous women with rich thoughts and ideas and diverse cultural backgrounds.
Through this place I could highlight on the situation of women in my beloved country, stated difficulties facing them every day. This is a significant experience in my life. With this big talented gathering I can speak out, compete and promote my career.

I am sure this is not a mere platform ; this is the gift of the century, through it women can deliver freely their messages and be heard. Yet it is the HOME FOR THE HOMELESS AND VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS.

Warm Regards,
Halima

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