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Regional Institute Of Gender, Diversity, Peace and Rights in collaboration with USAID

Women Strategic Needs: The Engagement in Commissions Development

March 2021

Executive Summary

This report reflects the outcomes of the project titled “Women Strategic Needs: the Engagement in Commissions’ Development”,

The rationale behind this project is based on the recommendations of a workshop held in Khartoum on 9th December 2019 that was attended by representatives of 5 CBOs from the 5 states. The workshop aimed to inform participants about the commissions, to be formed as indicated in the constitution document and to educate a larger number of women's groups and others of both gender organizations about these commissions and its structures and functions. This beside that the functions of the commission should be developed in a participatory way engaging the women at the states. The workshop recommended that any top down approach will alienate women at states level and can lead to feelings of marginalization and lack of ownership and benefits from these commissions. They requested urgent workshops to be held at the 5 states before holding a national one to verify and finalize the commissions’ functions and structures from the perspectives of views from the women in conflict zones. This will eventually facilitate the interaction between the women at state and central levels and lead to ownership and more access to the commissions.

The objectives of this project is to strengthen the capacities of 380 participants (80% of them females) from 6 states, including Khartoum, on importance of woman’s commissions and of women’s political participation. Second, to establish a database on women organization and activists in the six states. And finally, to enhance solidarity and exchange of experiences among women groups in the6 states of Sudan.

These objectives were achieved through three main activities, firstly, 5 workshops were held in 5 states, targeting 60 participants in each state to inform women members of political parties, civil society, academia, staff of civil service, informal sector, students, and women in camps, about the commissions of constitution, election, land and woman. Second, a data base on women organizations and activists in the six states was established and downloaded in RIGDPR website for stakeholders,(see annex 3a separate report on the survey) thirdly, the activities concluded by a national level workshop held in Khartoum, targeted 60participants (due to the Ministry of Health directions to avoid Corona virus pandemic the number was reduced from 80 to 60 participants) to discuss the outcomes of the state levels workshops and come up with a common women’s views on the commissions.

The states’ workshops were held during the period from 18th of November to 23rd of December 2020 and the final workshop was held in Khartoum state on 4th of Jan. 2021.The project was planned to start in November 2019 for 3 months but due to COVID 19pandemic it was postponed to November2020.

The Outputs: 1. Main functions and structures of the commissions from women’s perspectives were developed. 2. A database of women's organizations and activists is available for stakeholders.3. Information shared from different states and one joint perspective from women’s point of view for the structures and functions of these commissions submitted to the ministerial council and many other concerned governmental and nongovernmental bodies.

The outcome of the 6 workshops were four drafts on the structures and functions of the commissions of constitution, election, land and women, were developed and the final version was submitted to the Prime Minster, and to Dr. Omer Elsheikh the president of the National Executive Committee to coordinate with the UNAMTS, and to Dr. Nasr Eldein Abdel Bari the Minister of Justice, who appreciated the effort and promise to use it as a background source when developing the commissions’ law. It was also submitted to activists and women groups to spread it among stakeholders.

The first drafts of the four commissions were written by three experts, Prof BalgisBadri who wrote the papers on Election Commission and Woman Commission, Uz. SamiaElhashmi, a lawyer, wrote the Constitution Commission and Uz.Aaza Ahmed Hassan, a lawyer, wrote the Land Commission. The three experts were added the participants’ comments and recommendations of the six workshops to the final version of the commissions.

The workshops were conducted in collaboration with the peace centers at the state universities which had previous links with RIGDPR, and with Badia Organization.