Sudan – Khartoum, Al Gezira, East Darfur, South Darfur Rapid Gender Analysis
Publication Date: 01/10/2023
On April 15, 2023, heavy clashes erupted between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Khartoum. The conflict has since expanded and involves more non-state armed actors. There has been a near total collapse of services in the most conflict-affected states, including the closure of markets, shops, healthcare centers, schools, and the outages of water, electricity, banking, and telecommunications infrastructures. The complexity of the situation sets the tone for rippling consequences that have been seen across the entire population, especially affecting already marginalized groups and those with pre-existing vulnerabilities (such as female-headed households and those with chronic health conditions). The purpose of the Rapid Gender Analysis (RGA) is to provide information about the different needs, capacities and coping strategies of women and men focusing on four states: Al Gezira, Khartoum, East Darfur, and South Darfur. The RGA gathered primary data from 121 participants in August 2023, and triangulated the findings against 90 secondary data sources.
Data from the RGA shows that despite women taking on more income-generating responsibilities, they continue to have unequal decision-making rights within the household. One of the biggest changes in gender roles has been the emergence of more women in the labor force. Men and women alike reported feeling that the only job opportunities currently available are for women. As such, women are increasingly working outside of the household to financially provide for their families. Despite this change, the division of household unpaid care work has not shifted; in most cases, the burden of caretaking for the family is shouldered by women and has only expanded since schools have closed. Therefore, while most women feel they have gained marginally more decision-making power within the household, it has been primarily related to caregiving tasks and making choices around pursuing different types of income-generating opportunities.
Similarly, women are playing important roles in the humanitarian response, but they remain sidelined from humanitarian decision-making. Many of the patriarchal norms that have been long-present in Sudanese culture that restrict women’s agency and participation in the public sphere have continued.