Written: 2014 | Published: November 13, 2023 | Yousif Suliman Saeed Takana

Darfur crisis: the role of traditional leaders in dealing with violence against women

This paper examines the role of traditional leaders in protecting women from violence in the Darfur crisis. The research was conducted through unstructured interviews with traditional leaders, women and men, as well as with displaced people in camps. The paper is organized into six sections, including an introduction, an explanation of the conflict dynamics, changes in the roles of traditional leaders, the situation of women in Darfur, forms of violence against women during the conflict, and the role of traditional leaders in protecting women. The paper highlights the collapse of the rural economy, widespread poverty, and feelings of despair among the population, which have led to increased dependence on humanitarian aid. Women are particularly vulnerable, as they are forced to look for sources of livelihood outside the camps in an unsafe situation and are targeted by both government and armed groups. The paper concludes that traditional leaders have an important role to play in protecting women from violence and promoting peace in Darfur.


This paper was originally published by the Christen Michelsen Institute (CMI).

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