27-January-2023

Three Sudanese Women Win Outstanding Prizes

Three Sudanese Women Win Outstanding Prizes

L: Prof Balghis Badri, Mariam Alsadiq Almahdi and Hanadi Hussein Taj Alsir


KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - This has been a rewarding week for active Sudanese women.

Reports incoming here have said Prof Balghis Yousif Badri, outgoing Foreign Minister Dr. Mariam Alsadiq Almahdi and Hanadi Hussein Taj Alsir have received awards from renowned organizations.

Prof Balghis Badri has been selected by the Lebanon - based Takreem Organization as the Outstanding Arab Woman of 2021.

Mariam al-Mahdi has been chosen by the Financial Times magazine among the 25 most influential women in the world for 2021.

Hanadi Hussein Taj Alsir has won the prize for the best humanitarian work across the Arab World from the Saudi Arabia - based Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd’s Foundation for Humanitarian Development. 

Badri is a feminist militant, scholar, an activist, and a consultant. She has studied, guided and lobbied for change in crucial issues such as gender equality, the introduction of a women’s quota, the political empowerment of women. She is a particularly fierce campaigner against female genital mutilation.

Badri is a pioneer in introducing women studies to the masters program at Ahfad University from 1997 onwards. She promoted the field of women studies at Ahfad University for Women, and by 2010, grew the institute into a regional one, establishing international links with universities and research centers in Africa, Europe, USA, and Canada.

Under Badri’s direction, the institute became engaged in several activities related to legal reforms, constitution content, and electoral systems, alongside issues related to education and human rights issues. The institute earned the support of various international bodies including USAID and the UN.

In 1993 and 1994, Badri was selected by Unicef to become the organisation’s regional consultant for the introduction of gender mainstreaming in Iran, Egypt and Syria. She also became the main trainer for WFP’s gender sensitivity program. She had been amongst the pioneers who established the Babiker Badri Scientific Association for Women Studies in 1979. With her as president, the association was active in developing integrated women's development centers at 12 Villages in the White Nile, the Red Sea and the North State.

Mariam al-Mahdi, Sudan’s foreign minister until late November, is  active in the struggle for democracy in Sudan for more than three decades. Her father was prime minister when brigadier Omar al-Bashir led a coup against his democratically elected government in 1989. Thirty years later, the autocratic Bashir was forced out after months of protests.

Sudanese political culture has long been dominated by men, and al-Mahdi, a doctor and by 2019 a leading political figure in her own right, became one of the few women in the Sudanese cabinet. In the weeks since Sudan’s military suspended the government in October this year, she has emerged as one of its most outspoken critics and as a voice for all the women who took to the streets to campaign for change.

Al-Mahdi told the Financial Times, “the women of Sudan are very adamant and very strong fighters for democracy. They have always been very strong believers in democratic values and democratic transformation. Nothing will deter them, they are now at the forefront.”

Hanadi Hussein Taj Alsir is the director of Sudan’s developmental health program, chairperson of the preparatory committee for the Sudanese Council of Voluntary Agencies (SCOVA).

The prize aims at honoring distinct humanitarian charity institutions with respect to performance and achieving their objectives effectively according to the agreed criteria of the prize, explained Hanadi. The prize also seeks to avail opportunities for the exchange of knowledge, the transfer of outstanding expertise in the domain of human development and the achievement of the millennial development goals at the level of the Arab World. 

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