Sudanese women rights centres launched the Women’s Initiative and Building Trust campaign to combat violence against women on Thursday, against the backdrop of activities against tea sellers in Khartoum.
The campaign will run for 16 days straight until 10 December and shed more light on the issue of gender-based violence while raising efforts to combat the problem in Sudan.
The Sima Centre for Training and Protection of Women and Children’s Rights, the Gender centre, Sobat, Asimat, and Alaq participate in the campaign. They will host a number of activities and events.
Nahid Jabrallah, the head of the Sima centre in Khartoum, told Radio Dabanga that she is surprised that female genital circumcision and domestic violence have still not been criminalised in Sudan. “This should be included in the personal status laws.”
Jabrallah also pointed to the prevalence of sexual violence against women. “The campaign is aimed at ending sexual, social and economic violence against women.”
Regarding the “economic violence”, the women activist pointed to the recent imposition of fines against tea sellers in Khartoum. Street tea sellers are usually women, and their numbers are estimated to run up to more than 8,000 sellers.
In the past years the public order police in the Sudanese capital have waged campaigns of confiscations or evictions.
A study published last year by economic expert Dr Hassan Abdelati found that 88.6 percent of the tea sellers in Khartoum are either displaced or migrants from rural areas.
In the study, Dr Abdelati asserts that the tea sellers’ sector is growing because of inflation, war, difficult economic conditions, illiteracy, and poor education standards among the women.