Publications

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Negotiating Space: Sudanese women’s access to vocational education and employment

Drawing on findings from the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa’s (SIHA Network) Breaking Gender Stereotypes Project Phase II (BGS II), this paper explores urban poor women’s access to opportunities in vocational training and subsequent employment in Greater Khartoum, Sudan. This exploration was carried out through an examination of the interconnected influences of the state, family, socio-religious and cultural norms, and expectations. Analyzing the social, cultural and legal makeup of Khartoum highlights how environmental factors figure into women’s access to diverse employment. The dynamics hindering women’s access to vocational training and employment primarily stem from the Islamist regime’s nation-building project. By looking at the multidimensional oppression directed at women from marginalized regions of Sudan, this report focuses on the interplay of gender, race, and class, and how they affect women’s access to non-traditional employment in Sudan. This report maintains that women participants represent a challenge to gender and cultural expectations about women’s roles in society. The vocational sector has been resistant to women but by moving into this field, women have shattered the ceiling that restricted them. There have been recent shifts in perceptions. As women gain access to education and have greater representation in traditionally male-oriented workspaces, patriarchal beliefs pertaining to women’s ‘correct’ place in society are being erased.

Caught in the Middle: Gender Inequality and rampant SGBV in Wau, South Sudan

Women and girls living in South Sudan’s Wau Town, situated in the former Western Bahr el Ghazal state have experienced severe sexual violence, exploitation, abuse and harassment in the present-day conflict. In addition to ethnically targeted rape and other crimes of sexual violence, women and girls have suffered from various gendered inequalities originating well before the cyclical outbreaks of war and produced by social norms and practices that promote discrimination and subordination.

Risks and vulnerabilities that women cross border traders face at the South Sudan & DRC borders

This qualitative study examines the risks and vulnerabilities that Northern Ugandan women cross-border traders face while conducting business in the border regions. A large number of women cross border traders routinely cross the border and are subjected to acts of violence, threats and sexual harassment. Much of this evidence has gone unreported, thus this report aims to document these violations and issues that can be formulated into advocacy around protection policies for these cross-border traders. 

A Current Analysis of the women’s movement in South Sudan

This report, based on research conducted in Juba and Wau in December 2019, seeks to obtain a holistic understanding of the women’s movement in South Sudan, taking into consideration the historical, social, cultural and political context of the country. It briefly traces the historical trajectory of the women’s movement in the country, including a description of the various actors, their mandates, and the collective influence of the movement. The report describes the issues/goals that have brought women’s organizations and their allies together and the nature of their engagement with national, regional and international mechanisms and networks. While this research documents the achievements and strengths of the women’s movement as a collective, it also identifies the various challenges, gaps and potential divisions within it. The study places particular emphasis on the work of the women’s movement and relevant civil society organizations in the areas of women, peace and security, and sexual and gender-based violence.