Widening income inequality is the defining challenge of our time. In advanced economies, the gap between the rich and poor is at its highest level in decades. Inequality trends have been more mixed in emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs), with some countries experiencing declining inequality, but pervasive inequities in access to education, health care, and finance remain. Not surprisingly then, the extent of inequality, its drivers, and what to do about it have become some of the most hotly debated issues by policymakers and researchers alike. Against this background, the objective of this paper is two-fold.
The relationship between inequality or income distribution and economic development has been an area ongoing study for over five decades. The distribution of income in a country is traditionally assumed to shift from relative equality to inequality and back to greater equality as the country develops. Intuitively, inequality will rise as some people move away from prevailing traditional activities, which yield a low marginal product, into more productive venture. At some point, the marginal product of all economic activities converges and income differences narrow. Based on this reasoning, the so-called Kuznets hypothesis (Kuznets, 1955) postulates a nonlinear relationship between a measure of income distribution and the level of economic development.
Legal system. The formal legal system in Sudan is primarily derived from British common law and Islamic law (Shari’a). Islamic law does not grant women in Sudan equal rights to men in matters of personal status including marriage, inheritance and divorce. The criminal act, governed by Shari’a, allows punishments such as flogging and amputation.For groups of other faiths than Islam (e.g. the Christian population) the communities’ own religious standards are applied to personal status matters.
The objective of this report is to provide foundational research for a planned policy paper for the Oxfam Rights in Crisis (RiC) campaign ,African Conflicts – Safety, Livelihoods, and Gender Justice‟. The report is based on a review of relevant literature, field research conducted at Oxfam project sites in two states of South Sudan, Lakes (Oxfam Great Britain) and Warrap (Intermón Oxfam), and interviews with key informants. Its focus is on pastoralist and agropastoralist communities in remote border areas, as they are among the groups most affected by conflict and the most marginalised, and their voices are often not heard. The dominant ethnic group in the research areas are the Dinka, which is why this report focuses on Dinka culture.
Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, sits at the confluence of the Blue and White Niles. Sudan itself, recipient of the rich and diverse influences from both northern and sub-Saharan Africa, sits at the confluence of different races, religions and cultures. This report finds that unlike the Nile, whose two branches meet and together form one of the world’s mightiest rivers, Sudan remains racked by division and divergence, with inequality being their root cause.
Life in Sudan since 1956 has largely been defined by consecutive civil wars between Muslim Northern Sudan and mostly non-Muslim, non- Arab south Sudan. In 2011, South Sudan officially gained autonomy and independence. Northern Sudan is run under sharia (Islamic Law).Although officially considered to be Democratic Republic of Sudan, effectively the president Umar Hassan Ahmad al-BASHIR holds almost all the legislative, executive, and military decisions.Freedom of speech, association and assembly are all restricted in Sudan. Sudan is considered one of the world’s most corrupt states in the world
South Sudan is the world’s newest country with more than 60 ethnic groups and 80 local languages. Distinctions of ethnicity, language, religion, social class and rural or urban way of life cut across the society resulting in different gender relations even within the same overall ethnic group. Principle ethnic groups include the Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Murle and Shilluk. Most South Sudanese are Christian, there are also Muslims, and many South Sudanese practice traditional animist beliefs. Most South Sudanese (83%) live in rural areas although there are significant differences between states. Cattle culture is very important for most South Sudanese ethnic groups. The size of one’s herd is a key marker of wealth, and cattle-raiding was the main catalyst of inter-communal violence before the current political conflict erupted. In many parts of South Sudan, cattle are also used for the bride price required to marry. Northern South Sudan has oil-fields and some areas remain in contention with Sudan.
Sudanese women like everyone else aspire towards achieving the commitments made at the Millennium Summit in 2000. What are the odds, for a country and a people in a complex conflict and post-conflict situation? The ethos of the Millennium Declaration and its emphasis on women’s rights, participation of all citizens, gender equality and peace, profoundly captures the reality for women and their families in Sudan. Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Sudan demands creative and extra-ordinary measures centered on women’s leadership, reducing gender inequalities in all governance, service provision, and resource management while fostering strategic partnerships. Sudan is a country of multiple realities for its communities. Sudanese women and people are continuing to smile with one eye, while crying with another eye. They are living between the joys and commitment to sustain the peace ushered by the CPA and crying in search of peace in the Darfurs!
South Sudan’s independence ends decades of conflict as well as socioeconomic and political marginalization at the hands of successive governments in Khartoum, which affected women in gender-specific ways. Independence thus opens up opportunities for women’s economic and social empowerment, ensuring that the new country’s political and economic structures and institutions reflect commitments to women’s participation and human rights. In turn, empowering women will enable South Sudan to strengthen its economic and political
structures and institutions.
The Great Lakes region of Africa is faced by numerous problems ranging from military conflict and political instability to poverty, economic uncertainty, social upheavals and tensions, disease and gender inequality. These problems exist within a context of global advances in science and technology. Although some of these challenges are a consequence of globalization and unequal trade relations, colonial subjugation and ethnicity, others may be blamed on culture.