This is a monumental time in the lives of the women of Sudan, as their future hangs on the string of hope through a referendum that could split their nation into two countries. As I have shared the cruelty and mistreatment of women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Nigeria, and other African nations- I have also shared the stories of the Sudanese women- who face a life of uncertainty as a collective vote will determine a future of possible natural-right freedoms, advancements, and opportunities for education, jobs and entrepreneurship. Southern Sudanese have eagerly rushed to the polling stations to cast their votes in an election that is widely expected to lead to the creation of the world’s newest state.
About 3.9 million people were registered to vote in the referendum which ends on January 15th, with the final results expected 10 days later. The separation must be endorsed by at least 60 percent of the registered voters to be valid. From my research, it is widely expected that most southern Sudanese would vote overwhelmingly to separate from their mostly Arab and Muslim compatriots.
|Photo Credit: http: Joseph Kiheri/Nation|
I subscribe to newspapers based throughout Africa so that I can keep abreast of what is happening in African nations to share with the diaspora. As a supporter of Women for Women International I also receive the latest information about the status of women in war-torn countries. Karen Sherman the Executive Director of Global Programs released a message emailed from Karak Mayik, the Country Director in Sudan for Women for Women. Karak lives in Rumbek, Sudan and has the opportunity to see on a daily basis the conditions of the women that Women for Women International works hard to serve, protect, and empower. Karak oversees the organization’s year-long program there, which currently serves 3,200 Southern Sudanese women.
Below is a copy of the email from Karak Mayik. After reading it please forward this blog message to your family, friends, and colleagues- and be sure to visit www.womenforwomen.org to see what other ways you can help the Sudanese women and other women in war-torn countries.
From: Karak Mayik
To: HQ; UK Staff; Country Directors
Cc: Karen Sherman; Andree Simon; Zainab Salbi
Sent: Sun Jan 09 09:09:09 2011
Subject: Stand with the Women of Sudan this Weekend
On this important landmark in the history of Sudan, and as we march to the referendum centers today to practice our right to self determination, please join me in a message of solidarity, love and hope for a free, fair and peaceful referendum that reflects the aspirations of the people of Southern Sudan, with meaningful participation for all, especially women.
The struggle continues,
Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved.