Sudan: Sudanese Women Empowerment for Peace Program

Peace in the Sudan can be achieved if we work collectively, being proud of our diversity, having equal rights and duties and looking forward to a better future for ourselves and our children.

— Sudanese Women Empowerment for Peace Program

The Sudanese Women Empowerment for Peace Program (Suwepp), established in 1997, is a national network that focuses on peace building through bridging the gap between North and South in Sudan. It operates nine working groups, five of which are in Khartoum and four in the south, based in Nairobi, Kenya. The groups support peace negotiations and spread the culture of peace in the Sudanese community. Despite the inauspicious political climate, the Suwepp’s achievements have paved the way for peace initiatives. Its work is highly appreciated by Sudanese and international partners.

In 1997, in response to exacerbated petitions from the Sudanese women, the Government of the Netherlands took the initiative to support the Sudanese women’s ongoing peacemaking efforts. The aim of the initiative was to effectuate the culture of peace and to promote the non-violent forms of conflict in the country. It also worked on persuading the Sudanese people, especially women, to participate in the peace process. The war in the Sudan has put constraints on people, especially on women’s involvement in social work. During wartime, because of male labor migration, women were forced to be self-dependent and to take over men’s responsibilities in subsisting their families. The Sudanese Women’s Empowerment for Peace Program (Suwepp) reflects the role of women in the peace process. It also puts the Sudanese civil war and the way in which it has affected the Sudanese women on the agenda of both national and international forums and conferences. In so doing, it vocalizes the needs of the Sudanese women and the burdens that the war has brought to their lives. The Suwepp consists of nine groups, five in Khartoum and four in the south – in Nairobi, Kenya. The five groups in the north are: the National Committee, (representing the government), Southern Women for Peace, the Civil Society Network, the Nuba Women for Peace and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), that represents the opposition. The four groups in the south are: the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement-United Group (SPLM-UG), the Sudanese People's Development Front Women Group (SPDFWG), and the Non-Partisan Group (NPG). Each group runs different activities in addition to joint activities, such as training sessions, workshops and joint-meetings between the northern and southern groups, which are held periodically every six months.

Sudanese Women Empowerment for Peace Program (Suwepp)