Rural Women in Blue Nile State Are Miles Better than their Urban Counterparts, Interview
It is said that woman is a half of society. Some say that she is the whole society. It was said that there is a women behind every great man. At any case, she is partner to the man. In the Blue Nile State, woman is the maker and great educator of generations. Despite harsh environment, she admirably resisted and pushed her way to share with the man in various fields. Today she is suffering in her life whether due to loss of man of the house, war or other reasons. In this interview Sudan Vision sat with Mrs. Samiya Mohamed Othman, rural women’s rights activist, to discuss with her women’s day-to-day problems so that we may find ideal solutions to them.
Q: Would you please brief on women sector in Blue Nile?
She is the mother that gave birth and brought up her children in the absence of the man of the house. She gave birth to judge, teacher, minister and ambassador, etc… it is the women who bears the burden of upbringing children. Therefore, woman in the Blue Nile is struggler and striving in the fields of child upbringing. She will never be at ease unless she sees her children push their way toward a brighter future. However, she is living under conditions only god knows – a real suffering, as the common saying goes “seeing is believing”
Q: What suffering working women in Blue Nile are going through?
Women are desperately in need of many things – requirements that have to be provided to them, especially there are some women are working as tea-women, vegetable, kisra and traditional perfumes venders. Those women are having difficulties with health workers who are chasing them from the market, which means depriving them of such jobs they are relying on to bring up their children and meet school fees.
Are there any other jobs women do; besides working in the markets?
Some women are involved in laundry to feed their children. Some are relying on left over millet at sorghum market to earning their living. Rural women are also involved in farming and fetching water from remote areas on their heads. Some work as suppliers of firewood on their heads to sell them in order to meet their needs. Despite the suffering, Blue Nile women are undoubtedly creative and innovative, especially the rural women as some of them are involved in strings, fans and mats crafts. If they get proper support, they would be more creative. Therefore, localities and health authorities should avoid harassing these women who are struggling to maintain their families. It was not their choice to be involved in jobs perceived of as odd jobs by some, but they have no options.
Q: What about rural women and urban women?
Rural women are miles better off than their urban counterparts as they are not facing difficulty getting money by doing hard jobs such as farming. Urban women have the opportunity to participate in domestic, regional and international conferences while rural women only hear about such events in the news. Urban women are also blessed with access to education.
Q: As a woman aware of the sufferings of women in the Blue Nile, what solutions would contribute to alleviating their suffering?
I appeal to people of charity such as Jamal Al-Wali, Salah Idrriss and Babikir Wad Jebel and sons of Al-Bireire; in addition to owners of big companies in Khartoum, Bahry and Omdurman as well as telecommunication companies to pay attention to women in the Blue Nile and extend their help to tea-women, kisra and vegetable and milk-women by supplying them with food stands and kiosks.
I hope authorities would pay attention to women in the Blue Nile state. I send special message to the President and the Minister of Social Welfare to care about women in the Blue Nile because they are suffering a lot in remote mountainous areas and unfavorable environments, picking plant seeds to sell them to meet the needs of their children; in addition to doing hard jobs such as supplying firewood on their head to earn halal living. “Have mercy on those on the earth to have the Divine mercy.”
By Maki Mahil, 01/05/2012