Gender Mainstreaming, Women's Empowerment and Safe Motherhood


Following baseline surveys to assess needs and identify the gaps, it was clear that NGOs and particularly community-based organizations (CBOs) in areas other than Khartoum State face substantial weaknesses in gender mainstreaming and maternal health planning, as well as project design and management skills.

In response, this project was set up in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The project targets 8 states (Blue Nile State, White Nile State, Gadaref State, Kassala State, South Kordofan, South Darfur, West Darfur and North Darfur) and has the following objectives:


- The gender component of the UNDAF programme.

- Sensitization of citizens to gender mainstreaming and maternal health in their policies, programmes and projects.

- Realizing Millennium Development Goal 3 – women's equality, equity and empowerment.

- Realizing Millennium Development Goal 5 – improving maternal health, focusing on improving the skills of health professionals, safe abortions, access to family planning and other social practices that negatively affect maternal health.


Implemented activities


1. Training for 25 midwives in 8 states to improve their capacities for transmitting messages on maternal health using a gender-sensitive approach, which involves giving them both knowledge and skills to be able to:

- Understand gender equality.

- Advise parents and other family members to accept the birth of girls and boys equally.

- Educate fathers on their role during pregnancy, labour and after birth and how they can make a difference for safe motherhood and having a healthy baby.

- Educate fathers and the community about early pregnancy risks and the measures that should be taken to avoid expected risks.

- Raise awareness about changes in the division of labour, i.e. the traditional workload of housewives during pregnancy and how the spouse can contribute to reducing the workload.

- Raise awareness about the type of food pregnant women should take and how the spouse can contribute to a nutritious intake.

- The importance of antenatal care and the role of both the midwives and the pregnant empowered woman to achieve that for their safety.


2. Training for NGOs and CSOs on concepts of gender mainstreaming and maternal health and transmitting messages on maternal health using a gender-sensitive approach. The total number of participants was 185, representing 8 states.


3. Training media persons (25 participants from the 8 states) to transmit messages on maternal health using a gender-sensitive approach.


4. Training workshop for political parties (125 participants representing all the political parties) in gender mainstreaming, with a focus on maternal health and to how to develop a plan in practice to integrate gender and maternal health in their programmes.


5. Training of policy makers (26 participants representing different ministries) in gender mainstreaming and gender budgeting.


6. Developing a checklist for integrating maternal health, gender and women's empowerment in their existing programmes for NGOs, political parties and media.


7. In-job training to build the capacity of NGO staff in their offices/areas to identify actual needs through field visits and to integrate gender issues and safe motherhood in their programs, as well as supporting other organizational and planning skills. The training covered 5 NGOs in Gadaref State, 5 NGOs in Kassala State, 10 NGOs in Khartoum representing NGOs in other states, 2 NGOs in White Nile State and 4 NGOs from Blue Nile state.