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How You Can Support Human Rights in Sudan—and Beyond

Support women and youth on the frontlines, now.
A group of three Sudanese women.

By Rachel Gore Freed on September 12, 2023

Sudanese women are on the frontlines of a growing feminist movement, one that offers opportunities for global solidarity and accompaniment. 

The current conflict in Sudan is rooted in a complex history of colonialism, which has led to struggles over power and resources. If you are interested in learning more, we recommend Reem Abbas and Hala Al Karib’s piece in Alliance Magazine, and Sudanese journalist Nesrine Malik’s piece in the Guardian.

According to the Prospera International Network of Women’s Funds—a global network of feminist philanthropic funds—new research shows that 95% of the international humanitarian response in Sudan is being blocked by the military. Trusted community groups—often led by women and youth—are providing mutual aid in the wake of the increasing violence. They are providing cash, healthcare services, food, and assistance with community evacuations. At this time, it is reported that 80% of hospitals are not functioning while the scale of sexual and gender-based violence continues to increase with full out war. 

As health care systems break down and food supply becomes low, women (and girls) are organizing in their communities on the frontlines. In the face of populism, nationalism and racialized capitalism, feminist organizing is a counterweight to the inability of multilateral systems to demand a globally coordinated response. UUSC supports feminist movements inclusive of youth, transgender and LGBTQ2S+ people who are expanding and uniting related struggles to address transnational global aspects to gender discrimination.

Sudanese women human rights defenders are constantly threatened because of their calls to end the war. There is a need to support long-term systems change and feminist movements leading civil and political rights and reform along with international justice and accountability. This is why we’re joining the Prospera Network in sharing their call to action to our constituents and others within the philanthropic network to support feminist movement-building in Sudan, now.

Accountable relationships to movements for UUSC means understanding who is best positioned to respond and move resources quickly, and then collaborating within our networks to support those movements in their response. Sometimes it means UUSC will not respond itself to a developing human rights crisis because our capacity, expertise, and relationships do not directly support frontline activists on the ground. While UUSC may not be actively investing resources in Sudan and community groups there, we nonetheless want to provide information to our donors and supporters, and connections with values-aligned institutions that are already doing this work.

To support women and youth organizing on the ground in Sudan, we recommend donations go to the African Women’s Development Fund, the Darfur Women Action Group, or the Urgent Action Fund, Africa.  

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UUSC recently signed on to a letter calling on the Biden administration to provide an 18-month extension and redesignation of Temporary Protected Status and Special Student Relief for South Sudan due to the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions.

For other ways to take global action, please visit UUSC’s action alerts page for advocacy opportunities relating to global solidarity and supporting feminist movements and human rights defenders organizing for their civil and political rights and international justice and accountability in Burma, the United States, and Ukraine. You can also support our emergency fund, which provides grassroots communities with funds in the wake of emerging crises across the globe.

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At the time of publishing this blog, we’re also grappling with the impact of a devastating 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Morocco. We encourage folks to support local, community-led relief efforts and recommend supporting donations to the following non-governmental organizations based in the region.

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Libya is grappling with deadly floods displacing communities. We encourage support for girls and women at the frontlines leading the delivery of humanitarian aid through the Global Resilience Fund, a project of Purposeful.

Image Credit: Claudiovidri

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