Clark University to Host Conference on Women’s Rights in Sudan and South Sudan February 22-24

sisterhoodClark University will host the conference, “Building Bridges: peace, gender equality, and women’s rights in Sudan and South Sudan,” from Friday, Feb., 22, through Sunday, Feb. 24, on the Clark campus. The conference will bring together over 30 women activists, policy-makers and academics from Sudan and South Sudan to share experiences, identify priorities and strategize on how to approach the challenges that the two countries face.

The conference kicks off with an event at the Johnson Auditorium, 950 Main Street, Worcester, from 5 to 9 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

Mary-Ellen Boyle, Dean of the College, will welcome guests at 5 p.m.  Hon. Lilian V. Riziq, former civil society activist, Western Bhar el-Ghazal State Minister of Agriculture, and board member of the South Sudan Women’s Empowerment Network, will deliver the keynote address, “Women in Sudan, South Sudan and the Diaspora: What Roles can we Play?”

A panel discussion on gender equality, peace, transformation, and women’s rights in Sudan and South Sudan will begin at 7 p.m.  Panelists include:

  • Samia Ahmed, member of the Nile Peace Voyage and member of the Coalition of Women Leaders in Sudan,
  • Hawa Abdalla, Darfuri human rights activist and one of 10 recipients of the 2012 International Women of Courage Award,
  • Huda Ali, vice president, Gesr Centre for Development in Khartoum, human and women’s rights activist and former fellow at the Columbia University Human Rights Defenders Program,
  • Zeinab Balandia, executive director of Ruya (vision) organization and recipient of the 2009 Peace Maker Award from the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice Studies at San Diego University,
  • Sarah James, chairperson of the South Sudan Women’s General Association, Juba, South Sudan, and
  • Sarah Rial, program director of My Sister’s Keeper and recipient of the 2010 Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award.

Nada M. Ali, visiting assistant professor of International Development and Social Change, will moderate the panel.

A stage performance, “Waiting to Deliver,” by pioneering Sudanese actress Tomadur S. Gibriel will follow.  The program will conclude at 9 p.m.

According to Professor Ali, who is co-organizer of the event, “The meeting offers a platform for women to share experiences, learn, and strategize around ways to ensure women’s participation and gender equality—key elements of any efforts to address the multiple challenges that Sudan and South Sudan face.”

“Meetings such as this play a crucial role in connecting women activists in Sudan and South Sudan with their sisters in the diaspora,” said Anita Fábos, associate professor of International Development and Social Change at Clark.  “As we have learned from studying other post-conflict situations, women’s active participation is key to achieving justice and equality within and between the two Sudans.”

This conference is sponsored by Clark’s Department of International Development, Community, and Environment; the Women and Gender Studies and Peace Studies Programs; the Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies; the Dean of the College; and the Community Engagement & Volunteering (CEV) Center.  Partner and donor organizations include the Open Society Foundations, the Institute for Inclusive Security, and My Sister’s Keeper.

For more information about this event, please visit IDCE’s website or call (508) 793-8874.

Founded in 1887 in Worcester, Massachusetts, Clark University is a small, liberal arts-based research university addressing social and human imperatives on a global scale. Nationally renowned as a college that changes lives, Clark is emerging as a transformative force in higher education today. LEEP (Liberal Education and Effective Practice) is Clark’s pioneering model of education that combines a robust liberal arts curriculum with life-changing world and workplace experiences. Clark’s faculty and students work across boundaries to develop solutions to contemporary challenges in the areas of psychology, geography, management, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change. The Clark educational experience embodies the University’s motto: Challenge convention. Change our world.

This news release was written by Clark University’s Marketing and Communications Office.


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