On 8 and 9 March 2016, UNAMID's Gender Advisory Unit in collaboration with Ministry of Social Affairs, North Darfur State and the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) commemorated the International Women's Day under the local theme: "Gender Equality and Women Empowerment for Sustainable Development."
More than one thousand people, comprising youth and women's groups, legislative council members, government officials and UNAMID staff attended the commemorative event held on 08 March in El Fasher town, north Darfur. The event included local songs and drama performances on the importance of girl education and sensitizing the community about gender-based violence and a traditional handicraft exhibition.
At the occasion, UNAMID's Joint Special Representative (JSR) Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibhi read the United Nations Secretary General's message where he highlighted some of the ills that still face women today, urging the world to find ways to empower women to be able to lead fruitful lives. "In poor parts of the world today, women are still at risk of death in the process of giving life. Maternal mortality is one of many preventable perils. All too often, female babies are subjected to genital mutilation. Girls are attacked on their way to school" stated UN Secretary General.
In his remarks, the Deputy Wali of North Darfur state, Adam Mohamed Hamid Alnahla, commended event organisers for marking this important Day. He highlighted the important role women play in the development of their communities, particularly in Darfur.
The Minister of Social Affairs, North Darfur state, Fatima Ibrahim Mohamed, further explained that the Government of Sudan has endorsed the national strategy for empowering women as a way of encouraging women to play a positive, meaningful role in achieving peace and stability in the country.
Speaking at the commemorative event held at the Mission's Headquarters in El Fasher on 09 March, UNAMID's Deputy Joint Special Representative, Bintou Keita, explained that collaboration and cooperation between men and women is better than competition in any situation. "Men and women are not in competition, they are complementary." Ms. Keita also commended the support given to the internally displaced persons in Sortoni, north Darfur by UNAMID Police women.
On her part, Chief Gender Advisory Unit, Margaret Masenda-Simbi, noted that the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim not only to end discrimination and violence against women and girls but to ensure equal participation and opportunities in all spheres of life.
UNAMID's Gender Advisory Unit organized similar activities in the Sectors across Darfur to mark the International women's Day.