Women in the Areas of Displacement and Asylum: Rights and Challenges

Women Represent a High Percentage of Poor Communities That Are Highly Dependent on Local Natural Resources for Their Livelihood

Haffiya Abdalla

In recent history, Sudan has been the stage for prolonged conflicts and civil wars, as well as environmental changes, namely desertification.

These forces have resulted not only in violence and famine but also in the forced migration of large numbers of the Sudanese population, both inside and outside the country’s borders. Given the expansive geographic territory of Sudan, and the regional and ethnic tensions and conflicts, much of the forced migration in Sudan has been internal.

Yet, these populations are not immune to similar issues that typically accompany refugeedom, including economic hardship and providing themselves and their families with sustenance and basic needs.

Within the framework of a series of joint activities between the Higher Council for Environment and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Social Development, within the framework and implementation of the activities of the 41st session of the Arab Women Committee, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Social Development, Gamal El-Nile Abdullah, inaugurated the initiative to empower women in dealing with climate change and addressing disasters.

A working paper was presented by Dr. Rawia Seif Al-Yazal on the situation of women in areas of displacement and asylum in light of disasters.

The paper contained the economic, social, and psychological effects of displacement, as well as displacement, climate change, measures taken, and the rights of displaced women…

Dr. Rawia said that refugee, asylum-seeker” and “migrant” are used to describe people who are on the move, who have left their countries and have crossed borders.

The terms migrant and refugee are often used interchangeably but it is important to distinguish between them as there is a legal difference” she said.

Adding that a refugee is a person who has fled their own country because they are at risk of serious human rights violations and persecution there.

The risks to their safety and life were so great that they felt they had no choice but to leave and seek safety outside their country because their government cannot or will not protect them from those dangers. Refugees have a right to international protection

The participants came out with several recommendations, the most important of which are:

  • Ensuring that government programs at the economic level work towards economic revitalization, targeting women in a tangible way
  • Encouraging women to take leadership positions
  • Training displaced women and introducing the skills required by the market and linking this to education and literacy classes.

For his part, Khaled Muhammad Mustafa Abu Raida presented a paper on climate change and the impact on natural disasters, and the role of women in preventing disasters.

Women represent a high percentage of poor communities that are highly dependent on local natural resources for their livelihood, particularly in rural areas where they shoulder the major responsibility for household water supply and energy for cooking and heating, as well as for food security. In the Near East, women contribute up to 50 percent of the agricultural workforce.

They are mainly responsible for the more time-consuming and labor-intensive tasks that are carried out manually or with the use of simple tools

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