Search

 

Cablegate: Sudan Hosts Arab Women's Union Conference

VZCZCXRO6044
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHGI RUEHKUK RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0071 0181033
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181033Z JAN 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9726
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 000071

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, S/CRS, AF/SE WILLIAMSON
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
USAID FOR DCHA SUDAN TEAM, AFR/SP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM SU
SUBJECT: SUDAN HOSTS ARAB WOMEN'S UNION CONFERENCE

1. (SBU) Summary: The Sudan Women's General Union (SWGU) hosted in
Khartoum January 8-10 the fourth annual conference of the Arab
Women's General Union (AWGU). Sudanese president Omar Hassan
Al-Bashir addressed delegates at the opening session, promising that
the Government of Sudan (GOS) will seek to advance women's issues,
protect their rights, and prevent discrimination against them.
Despite serious human rights violations against women in war-torn
regions and a poor history addressing issues such as domestic
violence, Sudan has a decent record on promoting women within the
government. End summary.

2. (SBU) Conference delegates addressed the promotion of women's
rights and freedoms, prevention of violence against women, and
participation by women in the decision-making process. As would be
expected at a meeting of delegates from Arab states, the conference
expressed support to the struggle of women in Palestine, Iraq and
Lebanon. Participants also called for a campaign to eliminate
"technological illiteracy" among Arab Women, but warned against the
dangers of "Cultural Globalization."

3. (SBU) President Al-Bashir addressed the delegates and praised the
SWGU as a highly influential and broad-based organization that
empowers women. He highlighted the close relationship between GOS
and women's organizations. Al-Bashir assured participants that the
GOS will work to prevent discrimination or violence against women.
Attempting to link broader events in the Arab world to his own
regime's struggles, President Bashir saluted the struggle of all
Arab women "in Palestine, Golan, Shabaa Farms, Iraq, and those who
are challenging sanctions."

4. (SBU) SWGU is considered the largest women's organization in
Sudan and was established in 1992 primarily as a "volunteer
organization" to promote women's issues in the work place, society
and politics. It has charters in all 26 governorates of Sudan
including the South. It was granted "Consultative Status" with the
UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSCO) in 2007. Fatma Khalid Ahmed
Al-Bashir, President Al-Bashir's first Wife, is the honorary
president of the SWGU.

5. (SBU) The Arab Women's General Union (AWGU) is the umbrella
organization for women's organizations in Arab countries. It was
established in Cairo, Egypt, in 1944. The AWGU was not active for
several years following the Gulf War in the 1990's due to the severe
differences between Arab countries that the war provoked. It resumed
its activities with an annual conference in Sanaa, Yemen in 2005,
and followed that with annual conferences in Syria, Algeria, and now
Khartoum.

6. (SBU) Comments: In terms of advancement of women to positions in
government, Sudan has a decent record. Several women with
high-level positions in the Government of National Unity attended
the conference, including: Dr. Samia Ahmed Mohamed, Minister of
Social Welfare; Ms. Rajaa Khalifa, Secretary General of the Sudan
Women's Union; and Ms. Amira Al-Fadel, Secretary General of
Children's Welfare Council. Historically, it is worth noting that
Sudan was one of the first countries in the region to appoint female
judges. However, the regime's record on preventing violence against
women in war zones is appalling, which makes its effort to present
itself as a defender of women's rights less than credible.

FERNANDEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: