• Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019
  • Last Update : 08:28 pm

Sudan women fight gender imbalance in transition

  • Published at 01:42 am August 24th, 2019
Sudanese men and women celebrate outside the Friendship Hall in the capital Khartoum  on August 17AFP
Sudanese men and women celebrate outside the Friendship Hall in the capital Khartoum on August 17 AFP

The signing last week of the documents outlining the transition to civilian rule was a moment of national jubilation, turning the page on 30 years of dictatorship and eight months of deadly protests

They were on the front lines and in the negotiating rooms that brought down military rule but Sudan's women have yet to take their rightful place in the new institutions.

The signing last week of the documents outlining the transition to civilian rule was a moment of national jubilation, turning the page on 30 years of dictatorship and eight months of deadly protests.

But as the ceremony attended by a host of foreign dignitaries unfolded, one thing jumped out: the only female speaker at the three-hour event was the host.

"That scene was a slap in our face," Rabah Sadeq, a woman activist and longtime campaigner for gender equality, said the next day.

"So many women are talking about this now, we have to raise this issue," she told AFP.

Some women attending the signing heckled the speakers to express their displeasure and the indignation quickly spread to the street and social media.

"The participation of women in the revolution was very high, they even encouraged men to join the demonstrations," said Sarah Ali Ahmed, a student in Khartoum.

"I was very shocked to see the low representation of women... We want to play a role in the civilian government, just like men," she said.

On Wednesday, Sudan's new joint civilian-militaryruling body, which is meant to guide the country through 39 months of transition to full civilian rule, was sworn in.

Out of its six civilian members, two are women, although only one was included in the list of nominees initially put forward by the protest camp.