Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sudan, Are We Really Celebrating Women?

Now that it’s April, it’s time to take a moment and reflect – are we really celebrating women?
After the bells and whistles of International Women’s Day on March 8th, followed by (Middle Eastern) Mother’s Day on March 21st, we need to ask ourselves – what just happened here?
On the one hand, kudos to all Sudanese organizations that not only marked both events but actively celebrated them. Ubiquitous social media posts about events, awards and generous presents filled our time lines. Public figures and local celebrities were prominently featured – and a lot of cake.
On the other hand, what was conspicuously missing was the obvious. If we, as women, are to be acknowledged, appreciated, encouraged and celebrated, it needs to be in the form of action. We appreciate the accolades, but now organizations & governments, need to put their money where their mouth is.
Now that the cameras have stopped rolling, up next are policies, assurances and affirmative action. We need spaces to talk about our issues, we need forums to make our voices heard. We need a place to come together and make our voices heard.
There is a universal debate about gender income inequality and women’s issues in the workplace. Sudanese organizations need to sign up for real change and not just attempt to appease the womenfolk with beauty tips and flowers.
Now that we have established how essential women are throughout the month of March, I look forward to the seminars, workshops and legislation to come.

Historically, Sudan has been at the forefront of women’s development, with prominent pioneers in various areas. We need to step up and carry on the tradition, making sure that women are honored, with more than lip service, in the workplace and society.
It remains to be seen whether the Sudanese Government or Corporate Sudan will take the lead on this, but we all know that gender equality is good for economies and good for business. Your move.