Sudan adopted its first National Action Plan (NAP) in March 2020 for the period 2020-2022. Its implementation is a joint initiative between the Ministry of Labor and Social Development with the Geneva Institute for Human Rights – Sudan Office, and is funded by the Norwegian Embassy in Khartoum. The NAP has three overarching goals: actively involving women in peace-building, peacekeeping, peace negotiations and decision-making processes at all levels, and in relief, reconstruction and development; promoting the recognition of women’s rights before, during and post armed conflict; ensuring the protection of women against any form of gender-based violence, and putting an end to impunity. The NAP is organized into the four pillars of the WPS Agenda: participation, prevention, protection, and relief and recovery.
Sudan experienced three decades of brutal dictatorship, under which human rights violations and systematic violence against women were widespread and persisting. However, following the December Revolution and months of political struggle, a constitution was signed in August 2019 and a transitional government formed shortly after in September. Sudan has also experienced long episodes of conflict, including a devastating civil war between the north and south which led to the secession of South Sudan, and violence in Darfur. This has led to mass internal displacement in areas such as Khartoum, Darfur, and Blue Nile, a large proportion of which are women and children.
Conflict has also played a critical role in rising violence against women, including sexual violence in conflict zones. Previous peace agreements in Sudan have addressed gender issues to varying degrees, but women remained underrepresented in the negotiation processes, despite their active participation in resistance and revolution. However, unlike previous political frameworks governing the peace processes, the 2019 Constitutional Document and the Juba Peace Document 2019 have made explicit women, peace and security commitments.
At the multilateral level, Sudan has not served as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since the period 1972-1973, prior to the secession of South Sudan.
National Action Plan (2020-2022)
Global Gender Gap Index 2020
Arms Trade Treaty
Military expenditure (2019)
Explore Sudan's National Action Plan
Initial phases of development included consultations between the Ministry of Labour and Social Development with the Geneva Institute of Human Rights and preparatory meetings between the Ministry and the Institute with the Norwegian Embassy, and other Ministries. The NAP states that civil society organizations active in the field were also consulted and several national consultation workshops that included official and unofficial parties (including representatives of women’s organizations and of international organizations) were held throughout the phases of the development process.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Development is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the NAP’s implementation, with the Geneva Institute for Human Rights - Sudan Office as a partner body. Each pillar of the NAP includes a list of implementing bodies, which includes various Ministries, such as the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Defense, civil society organizations, neighborhood change and services committees, universities and academic institutions, Women’s Commission, and the Central Bank of Sudan.
NAP Monitoring and Evaluation
The Ministry of Labour and Social Development is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the NAP. Evaluation will be undertaken by a working group comprised of the Ministry of Labour and Social Development, university professors, representative of the Women and Gender Equity Commission, state ministries, representatives of the National Human Rights Commission, representatives of the Peace and Transitional Justice Commission and civil society organizations, assisted by the United Nations Women.
The implementation period for Sudan’s NAP is three years (2020-2022).
The NAP focuses on three overarching objectives (p. 21):
- Actively involving women in peace-building, peacekeeping, peace negotiations and decision-making processes at all levels, and in relief, reconstruction and development.
- Promoting the recognition of women’s rights before, during and post armed conflict.
- Ensuring the protection of women against any form of gender-based violence, such as rape and sexual slavery, and put an end to impunity.
Each of these overarching objectives is set out to be achieved through the four pillars of the WPS agenda; participation, prevention, protection, and relief and recovery. Each of these four pillars has a set of goals that works toward the overarching objectives. Additionally, each of these goals has an accompanying set of broad outcomes (p. 22-44).
For example, the third pillar, Protection, has six goals, which include (p. 32):
- Ensure that women and girls survivors of sexual violence have access to justice systems that enhance their dignity and psychological resilience.
- Outcome: Special measures in place that facilitate the access of victim survivors to the legal service and a transformation mechanism included in the regulations (p. 35)
- Incorporating mental and reproductive health into primary health care.
- Outcome: Integrated services in place at the lower and primary levels in the all states of Sudan with a unified and community based approach (p. 37)
Each goal also has a set of activities to achieve the stated outcomes (p. 22-44).
For example, the first pillar, protection, includes the goal of “Participation of women in the processes of the sustainable development goals”. The outcome “Women's issues are mainstreamed in the public policies protecting the environment from pollution, environmental risks and climate changes” includes four activities including (p. 25):
- Raise community awareness in the popular mining areas of the health risks of mining
- Assessing existing and potential health risks in mining areas
Each set of outcomes and related activities has a set of indicators (p. 22-44).
For example, under the second pillar, Prevention, the goal of “Creating a social responsibility towards combatting violence against women and girls ” includes a long list of indicators such as (p. 30):
- Educational curricula and school activities to combat violence
- Number of trained imams, preachers, and priests who include combating violence against women and girls in their public address and preaching speeches
- Number of grassroots communities engaged in anti-violence activities at the local level
Sudan’s NAP contains a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation plan. Whilst the Ministry of Labour and Social Development will be responsible for monitoring using the qualitative and quantitative indicators provided, a working group made up of the Ministry of Labour and Social Development, university professors, representative of the Women and Gender Equity Commission, state ministries, representatives of the National Human Rights Commission, representatives of the Peace and Transitional Justice Commission and civil society organizations assisted by UN Women will be responsible for the evaluation process. The working group will produce a study that assesses annual achievements with a corresponding report on goals achieved, failures and obstacles, as well as recommendations for the next stage. This report will be used at a workshop, where all partners contributing to the implementation and follow-up will participate.
The NAP does not currently have a budget. However, it states that implementation will be funded by the Norwegian Embassy in Khartoum (p. 13).
Pillar four of Relief and Recovery includes the goal of gender-sensitive Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) programmes. This includes meeting the needs of women ex-combatants, integration of gender perspectives within DDR and security sector reform programs, creating a society free from the threat and injury of landmines and light weapons, and involving women in small arms collection programs (p. 43-44).