(UN Women) - The Sudanese Women Parliamentary Caucus in partnership with UN Women Sudan organized a celebration
of the National Day of Women Parliamentarians on 31 July 2017. The event was held in Khartoum under the auspices of Professor Ibrahim Ahmed Omer, President of the National Legislative Council and Speaker of Parliament and Mr. Omer Suliman, Head of the Council of States. The event was intended to coincide with the African Woman’s Day and the 10th Anniversary of the creation of the SWPC.
In his address to the participants, Professor Ibrahim Ahmed Omer, President of the National Legislative Council & Speaker of Parliament, stressed the importance of the event, applauding the role of women parliamentarians in Arab and African countries. He praised Arab and African women whom he said have been ‘assuming the highest positions in different political, legislative and executive institutions of their states.’ The Speaker of Parliament confirmed that the National Legislative Council will continue to support the Sudanese Women Parliamentarian’s work in Sudan.
The representatives of the African and Arab delegations participating in the event gave a number of speeches in which they called for a ‘rejection of differences’ and the ‘need for unity’ so that Arab and African women can assume leadership positions along with women of the world.
Dr. Gertrude Mongella, the first president of the Pan-African Parliament, was invited by SWCP through UN Women Sudan as the Guest of Honour. UN Women Sudan wanted to get Dr. Mongella to share her knowledge and experience on parliamentarian work and localization of the SDG’S with the SWPC and other Sudanese women groups. Dr. Mongellea’s CV was read out as she was being honored by the President of the Legislative Council and the President of the SWPC. Amidst the participants’ warm applause, she was awarded a ‘shield’ in which was inscribed in Arabic: Your Work Continues to be a Symbol Reflecting the Greatness of Accomplishments and Excellence in Performance.
The National Day and Regional Symposium aimed at stressing the core role of Sudanese women parliamentarians as politicians, peace builders and leaders in all aspects of life in Sudan. Another aim was to operationalize the sustainable development goals in Sudan by encouraging Sudanese women parliamentarians to continue to engage robustly and effectively in the localization process of the SDG’s, particularly SDG 5.
Following the Opening Session and Honoring Ceremony, a Regional Symposium on the ‘Role of Women Parliamentarians in the Empowerment of Women & Girls in Achieving the SDG’s’ was held. UN Women Sudan gave a presentation at the symposium titled: Towards Localization & Mainstreaming of SDG’s.
Dr. Mongella also gave a powerful talk in which she stressed that women have the potential to be part of the solutions in war and conflict and that therefore they must not be marginalized by men. She stressed that many women play no role in initiating or participating in wars and conflicts, yet they die because of them. She emphasized that women are ‘pained by the sound of guns’, calling upon all women parliamentarians to ‘raise their voices’ against wars and conflicts.
The event concluded with a lively evening of Sudanese music and songs during which participants continued their discussions in an informal and cultural setting.
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