Sudan: Safaa Elagib Adam

My mission is to advocate a peaceful, tolerant, and just society, in which women can live with dignity.

— Safaa Elagib Adam

Safaa El Agib Adam was born in 1960 in El Geneina, West Darfur. After graduating from the Faculty of Economics, University of Khartoum, she joined the Save the Children Fund (SCF) UK for one year, working on relief operations in Darfur and relief coordination in Port Sudan. She is affiliated with many organizations, as a volunteer and as a private consultant. Her chief aim is to support underprivileged women to become productive and self-dependent workers. She helps them to build up better careers by enrolling them in various training and consultation sessions. Safaa is also a peace activist.

The growing number of women hawkers in the streets of Khartoum, especially food and tea peddlers, has raised Safaa Adam’s concerns about the social and economic conditions of these women. When the government of Sudan, called "the Salvation Regime", came to power after a coup in June 1989, all NGOs, civil society organizations and political parties were suspended and their activities were banned. Emergency public order laws were enforced, which hindered women’s participation in social work. Safaa, together with other women activists, challenged these austere conditions by constellating women in working groups, defying the tight security measures and helping unfortunate women. Safaa has participated extensively in public debates on women’s rights and has contributed to regional and international conferences in Africa, Europe and the USA. She is also a member of many active networks working on peace building, conflict resolution, human rights and environment protection, and she is the founder of the Community Development Association (CDA), an organization concerned with women’s economic and social empowerment, especially in Khartoum and Darfur regions. Safaa collaborates relentlessly with peace activists, lawyers, women's groups and politicians, lobbying for a peaceful solution to the conflict in Darfur through dialogue and negotiation. However, she is underpinning the critical impact of the Darfur conflict on women, with special emphasis on sexual violence and rape. In the course of this work, Safaa and her family members are frequently interrogated by the Sudanese Bureau of Intelligence. However, she has unfailing stamina and courage to pursue her mission, providing the motive and example for the younger generation to follow her steps.

Community Development Association (CDA) Oxfam-UK Friedrich Ebert Foundation