Letters To The Editor

Women of Sudan need our support

To the editor:

Sudan is a country mired in humanitarian crisis and recovering from 21 years of war. It is vitally important to help Sudan’s recovery from the devastating consequences of war, especially now as a fragile peace agreement holds that nation together.

After a recent trip to southern Sudan, Zainab Salbi, president and CEO of Women for Women International (womenforwomen.org), reported that recovery efforts are moving too slowly. In areas where the violence has ended, there are towns where every building in sight has been leveled. Women and children are forced to sleep in the wilderness. Women say their only desire is for clean water.

These women have borne the brunt of war. They were specifically targeted to be kidnapped and repeatedly raped by soldiers. As they return home, they are discovering that their old communities no longer exist. Worse, little help is in sight.

This is a problem we can do something about. The Sudanese women want our help. We need to support the women as they rebuild their families, communities and nation. In order to build stronger nations you need to build stronger women, from the grassroots up.

When women prosper, countries thrive. Countries overcoming war and conflict have shown that when women are protected and engaged as full and active citizens, the entire country fares better. Stronger women lead to stronger nations.

There is a window of opportunity for Sudanese women to reshape their lives. We must support them. We must also encourage greater news coverage about Sudan, beyond the tragedy of Darfur. We also need a steadfast commitment by the United States and international community to addressing Sudanese women’s needs.

Sudan can be a success story with our caring and generosity. We shouldn’t let this opportunity pass us by – and we shouldn’t let another life be lost because we’ve turned a blind eye.

Claudette Billodeau

Categories: News