Women, Peace & Security

Rape of displaced women in North Darfur on the rise

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An artcle by Radio Dabanga published on 22 June, 2020, highlights the findings of a 50% increase in cases of rape of displaced women in El Fasher, capital of North Darfur. The research was completed by The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa, SIHA Network.

Key points include:

  • SIHA Network bases its announcement on data of the Saudi Hospital in El Fasher.
  • Displaced women are forced to leave the camps in search of a livelihood, which exposes them to violence from militias and armed security forces, that move around the cities, villages and camps in North Darfur unchecked.
  • The network demands criminalisation of sexual violence in conflict areas, and ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the African Protocol on the Rights of Women.
  • Most of the women in the Abushouk, El Salam, and Rwanda camps, and in Tawila locality, work in the informal sector, selling food and beverages, or agricultural products. They also work as construction workers who make bricks or cultivate farms.
    • The precautionary measures imposed by government authorities to prevent the spread of coronavirus, put an end to selling food and beverages. High prices of seeds and raw materials in the brick industry made work in that part of the informal sector difficult.
  • SIHA concludes that the coronavirus precautions in North Darfur strengthened the position of the military in the state.
  • Targeting human and women’s rights activists with ‘a campaign of arbitrary arrests in Darfur’ has affected the attention given to women’s issues by the judicial authorities, and women’s access to necessary health services and psychological support.

The full article can be found here.