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08.03.2012 Africa

UNAMID celebrates International Women's Day

By United Nations - African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
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EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, March 8, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Empowering rural women and girls was the focus of this year's International Women's Day held today in Darfur's States, as well in many parts of the world.

In El Fasher, North Darfur, hundreds of women, men and children, including internally displaced persons, took part in festivities sponsored by the Wali's (Governor's) Office on Women and Children's Affairs, the United Nations (UN) Country Team, and the African Union - UN (UNAMID) Mission in Darfur.

The day began with a solidarity march through the city. The march ended at Al Nagaah Stadium, where primary and secondary school girls acted in drama sketches, read poetry and sang songs.

“While women have made significant breakthroughs in the social, economic and political fields, through gender equality and with the efforts of the Government, more can still be achieved,” said Halima Tibbin Boush, the State Governor's Advisor on Women and Children's Affairs.

Ms. Boush was among several speakers, which also included Wali Othman Mohammed Yousuf Kibir, Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) Chairman Al-Tigani Sesse, and UNAMID Joint Special Representative (JSR) Ibrahim Gambari.

The JSR conveyed the UN Secretary-General's message on the 101th anniversary of the commemoration of the Day. “Gender equality and the empowerment of women are gaining ground worldwide. However, despite this momentum, there is a long way ago before women and girls can be said to enjoy the fundamental rights, freedom and dignity... Nowhere is this more apparent than in the world's rural areas, where women and girls routinely figure at the bottom of every economic, social and political indicator.”

Professor Gambari noted that the economic, health, and educational advancement of rural women and girls is a key to lifting families out of poverty. “UNAMID is committed to supporting women's engagement in the peace process and assisting the DRA in bringing the dividends of peace to the people of Darfur, especially women and girls,” he said.

Similar events organized by the Mission, in collaboration with the local authorities and UN agencies, took place in Kutum, North Darfur, El Geneina, West Darfur, Nyala, South Darfur, and Zalingei, Central Darfur.

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