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Published on June 24th, 2024

Empowering Women as Agents of Peace Through Digital Literacy in Sudan

Women in Blue Nile, Sudan, participate in training on digital and media literacy.

Since the outbreak of the war in Sudan in April 2023, women continue to bear the brunt of the conflict's devastating impacts. Women are disproportionately affected by violence, displacement, and economic hardship, yet their voices are frequently sidelined in peace processes and decision-making forums. As essential drivers of democratic change in Sudan, this exclusion hinders the country’s prospects for sustainable peace.

But Sudanese women continue to demonstrate resilience, resourcefulness, and a deep commitment to peace, despite restricted access to the tools, resources, and skills they need to effectively advocate for change.

USAID through STEP-UP, implemented by DT Global, is empowering women in Blue Nile State as agents of peace by increasing digital literacy, improving their ability to assess media and news, and amplifying the efficacy of their work in driving democratic change. To equip women with the digital tools and skills they need to more effectively advocate within their communities, STEP-UP supported 20 women civil society activists, representing 10 organizations, with the digital tools and skills they need to more effectively advocate within their communities. Activists gained practical skills using hardware and digital devices, improving internet navigation, and accessing and analyzing information from reliable sources.

Salma (all names have been changed), manager of one of the women’s associations supported by the project, shared how important the training was in mobilizing resources for her organization. “I had limited knowledge about computers initially,” she said. “The most beneficial aspect of the training for me was learning how to create an email account for our association and being able to write and analyze proposals.”

STEP-UP also included data protection and security in the training, both critically important in the conflict environment, equipping women leaders with the knowledge and skills to operate safely in digital environments. “I gained the ability to create a database for the safety of my association,” said Laila, one of the representatives attending the training.

A core premise of the training was ensuring that activists were able to utilize their new skills to navigate the digital space with greater impact, but critically, were also empowered to train and build digital literacy in their communities, continuing to make use of the shared equipment.

STEP-UP’s investment in digital literacy for women leading associations in Blue Nile is profound and far-reaching. By enhancing the digital skills and knowledge of women leaders in Blue Nile, STEP-UP is supporting these leaders’ organizations to reach broader audiences, engage with diverse stakeholders, and amplify their voices in peace and reconciliation.