Bordered by Libya, Sudan, the Central African Republic, Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger, The Republic of Chad is the fifth largest country in Africa; Chad has a population of 13 million people, 54% of which are woman.
With the UN’s Human Development Index ranking Chad as the 7th poorest country in the world, and 80% of the population living below the poverty line and a history of civil war, conflicts and inter-community violence, modern Chad faces many difficulties.
In recent years however, things have been relatively more stable. Nonetheless, with the ongoing violence and conflicts in neighbouring Sudan and CAR, many refugees have flocked to Chad and there are still many internally displaced persons within the country. These people are especially vulnerable to violence and harassment.
The group which was to become WILPF Chad Group begun activities in 2014 looking to include Chadian women in peace processes to ensure longer-lasting peace. Over recent years WILPF has been flourishing in Africa, with WILPF Chad’s entry into the WILPF family coming at a time of great expansion and success for WILPF in the area.
We got to catch up with WILPF Chad Group’s President Djibrine Souleymane Amalkher.
How does it feel to be the newest addition to WILPF’s family?
It is great to be part in of a network of women champions of peace, activist, peace prize winners, women right’s workers.
WILPF is one of the oldest peace contributions coming from a women organization, and what WILPF has achieved until now is phenomenal and unbelievable. It’s a great to have the opportunity to manage a WILPF group here in Chad and to be able to help women reach their potential.
Why did Chad want to join the WILPF family?
We also share WILPF’s vision of a peaceful world where girls and women enjoy full rights and are able to reach their potential, as well as proposing and adopting peaceful solutions to conflicts.
We believe the best way to achieve this will be through working with a network of people that have the same ideology and vision, so we can share learn and channel our common will to achieve miracles together.
In what ways do you believe that WILPF Chad Group will make a difference to communities around the country?
WILPF Chad Group already has started to make huge differences in communities by sensitizing them about their rights and raising awareness and training on women’s rights, conflicts resolutions and peace debates.
Root causes of violence sometimes are related to problems like poverty and illiteracy etc. WILPF could indirectly fix them by advocating for the Government and funders to invest in such domains.
What difficulties have you faced up until now, and what challenges do you believe that WILPF Chad Group will experience in the future?
Some of the difficulties we are facing are include financial problems, as we’ve just started, and not having a WILPF office in Chad is causing difficulties.
In the future, the challenges will include ensuring WILPF Chad Group’s full participation in implementing women’s rights frameworks’ at the national level; cooperation between Chad’s political, traditional and religious authorities; and reaching Chad’s rural areas, where most people live and are the most vulnerable and unaware about their rights.
What are WILPF Chad Group’s main aims for the upcoming year, and what do you hope to achieve?
Our Main goal is to protect women and to allow them to reach their potential in a peaceful country, we wish to “preach peace, make peace and live in peace”. We will focus on ensuring advocacy for government to take women’s issues very seriously; implementing of important frameworks such as CEDAW, BEIJING and UNSCR 1325; and reinforcing the participation of women in the country’s development.
WILPF Chad Group has already now started working in the spirit of WILPF. The Group will become an official WILPF Section in 2018, if the Triennial International Congress decides to adopt the Group at Congress.
/by Isabel May Bull
About the author
Isabel May Bull is a student, studying Politics and French at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, with a particular interest in gender politics and International Relations. She is currently on an Erasmus year abroad at The University of Geneva studying Translation (French and English).