19 February 2019

Ahfad University for Women conducts local and regional activities to promote gender equality and empower women and girls

In 2018, Ahfad University for Women’s (AUW) Gender and Reproductive Health and Rights Resource and Advocacy Center (GRACe) conducted activities to promote Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Throughout the year, training programmes were organized to prepare women and girls for leadership roles in the workplace. For example, AUW’s Student Union and GRACe celebrated the International Day of the Girl Child through their With Her: A Skilled Girl Force initiative that provided girls with the skills and training needed for joining the workforce. The programme also fostered collaboration and investments among stakeholders to increase employment opportunities for women and girls. 

Also, the Italian Agency for Development, GRACe, and AUW’s Regional Institute of Gender, Diversity, Peace and Rights jointly launched training workshops on advocacy, women and human rights, community mobilization, and public speaking and communication. The workshops aimed at improving the leadership and public speaking skills of women in Khartoum and Red Sea States.

In December 2018, the Regional Institute of Gender, Diversity, Peace and Rights of AUW held a workshop entitled, "Women as social actors A gendered Approach to social and political commitment", highlighting the importance of women as social actors and the power of women to end social inequalities and gender-based violence. Through personal stories and empirical research, participants discussed the possible actions for women to take, theorized strategies, and talked about the obstacles to overcome.

Education on women's rights and health issues was another key focus of AUW's activities in support of the Sustainable Development Goal on gender equality. The educational events and activities in 2018 included a four day training on the prevention of violence against women, hosted in partnership with the University of Bergen and the Chr. Michelsen Institute; research forums on the findings of AUW’s research on Female Genital Mutilation in Gadaref and Khartoum states; and information sessions on breast cancer that provided students with knowledge and instructions on self-examination. 

In addition, GRACe has participated in the first symposium between Ahfad University for Women (AUW), Imperial College London (ICL) and the University of Khartoum funded by the Haggar Foundation in late November 2018. The goal of the symposium was to address the burden of disease in Sudan through enhancing academic and scientific engagement on mutual areas of interest between Sudanese academics at the University of Khartoum and AUW with those at ICL. In this symposium, GRACe was able to identify areas of research and collaboration with ICL on Women’s Health and specifically on FGM and Child Marriage.