“Empowerment starts with education.”
Zenab Mohamad Nour
Zenab Mohamad Nour was an educator and advocate from Gadarif, Eastern Sudan. She was the pioneer in promoting girls’ rights to education in the country, where girls’ education had been considered unnecessary due to the long-established customs confining women’s role to marriage and reproduction. In such a context, Zenab had always believed education to be the fundamental pillar of women’s empowerment – a process of attaining knowledge to make decisions on her own and have control over them.
Ever since she became a teacher in 1941, Zenab dedicated herself to empower Sudanese women through early education by facilitating, building and managing girls’ schools. Her commitment to advocate for women’s rights through awareness raising in countless villages was also well-recognized by the international community. For her 47 years of continuous efforts to bring a real change in the lives of Sudanese women and girls, Zenab was named one of the “1000 Peace Women Across the Globe” and nominated for the Nobel prize in 2005.
To honor her commitment and pass her legacy on to the next generation, Zenab for Women in Development (ZWD) was established and named after her in 2000 as a Sudanese women’s rights organization to empower women through education. Together with our partners, ZWD has been implementing various vital projects/programmes targeting the vulnerable groups in all parts of Sudan (including Khartoum, Gadrif, Kassala, Red Sea, Darfur, Northern States and Gezira) through multi-dimensional interventions since 2002.
While seeing women and girls as agents of change, we have always worked with men, boys and other marginalized groups of people to bring about gender justice and empowering environment. And, we are always exploring ways to better meet the needs of Sudanese people by educating ourselves with our experience and knowledge generated with our stakeholders.
We are proud to continue the legacy of Zenab through this very process of informed decision making – empowerment starts with education and by exercising the knowledge attained from the opportunity.