KHARTOUM, Sudan, November 24, 2015
On 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Sudan, Ambassador Tomas Ulicny, was briefed by Ms. Amal Mahmoud, Member of Parliament and former Secretary General of the National Council for Child Welfare, on the currently ongoing National Campaign to End Child Marriage. The campaign is led by the Sudanese First Lady and stems from a pan-African initiative by the Organisation of First Ladies in Africa and the African Union Commission on Gender Equality to end the practice of child, early and forced marriage across the continent.
At the meeting, Ms. Amal Mahmoud, who is currently acting as an advisor to the First Lady on the National Campaign to End Child Marriage, informed the EU Ambassador that the Government of Sudan has prepared a National Strategy to End Child Marriage. With regard to the ’16 Days of Activism to End Violence against Women’, which are starting today, she explained that the Sudanese motto this year is ‘Ending child marriage and promoting girls’ education’.
Ambassador Ulicny welcomed the fact that addressing the issue of child marriage is being given increased attention on the Sudanese national development agenda. He said: “Today, we have a unique opportunity to act on this momentum and accelerate our efforts to help change the lives of girls and young women all over Sudan.” He added that “empowering girls, supporting young people to be agents for change, mobilising families and communities, working with men and boys, religious and traditional leaders and providing accessible, high quality and safe schooling for girls are all ways to reduce child marriage”.
Ambassador Tomas Ulicny also informed about the European Union’s support to the Sudanese civil society in preventing violence against women and girls and promoting gender equality. In 2015, the EU signed three projects under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights aimed at eradicating harmful traditional practices, such as child marriage and female genital mutilation, strengthening the rights of women under the Personal Status Laws and providing legal and psycho-social support to female victims of human rights violations. Another project focusing on promoting girls’ education and women’s economic empowerment will be launched in 2016.
Delegation of the European Union to Sudan