Sudan

Sudanese anti-riot police on Tuesday arrested and beat dozens of women activists shortly after they attempted to stage a protest in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman against the alleged rape of a young female activist last month and right abuses, manifesting Khartoum’s growing anxiety over dissent. Women protestors gathered in a public square in central Omdurman on Tuesday and lifted banners demanding the authorities to cease "violence against women," citing the case Saffiya Ishaq, a young female activist who appeared in a Youtube video last month accusing members of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services of gang-raping her after she participated in anti-government protests late in January.

On International Women’s Day 2011, WLUML would like to share a few of the many successes and struggles of our networkers across the world: from Malaysia, Sudan, Pakistan and Egypt.

Rape and sexual assaults: the National Congress Party uses the weapons of the Darfur war against the women and girls of Khartoum. Tens of thousands of Sudanese women and young girls in Darfur and in the south of Sudan were exposed to crimes of gender based violence, including rape and sexual abuse that were practiced by the National Congress Party (NCP) for more than two decades. Now, and following the victory of racial and sexual cleansing policies which drove the South of Sudan to separation and could drive Darfur on a similar path, the regime of the NCP is employing the weapon of rape and sexual abuse against women and girls in their peaceful struggle. The NCP’s security forces targeted the women and young girls who took part in the recent demonstrations in Sudan, asking for justice, peace, democracy and an end to discrimination.

Les résultats du référendum sur l'indépendance historique du Sud-Soudan montrent que 98,83 pour cent des habitants sont en faveur de la sécession. Si la région accédera officiellement à la souveraineté le 9 juillet 2011, il reste malgré tout de nombreux défis à relever. 
Les observateurs estiment que ces questions doivent être abordées dès maintenant par les deux partis au pouvoir : le Parti national du Congrès (PNC), au Nord, et le Mouvement de libération du peuple soudanais (MLPS), au Sud. 

John Garang, the revered late leader of the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement, once said that women are the "the poorest of the poor and the marginalised of the marginalised". As the reality of an independent South Sudan approaches, the region's women have vowed they will not remain second class citizens. Margaret Michael Modi, the head of women’s affairs in Central Equatoria State, cast her vote on the first day. "The first day (of the vote) we did not sleep. I went to the polling station and women were crying as they cast their vote," she told IPS over the phone from the southern capital, Juba.

Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, said the country would adopt an Islamic constitution if the south split away in next month's referendum, in a speech today in which he also defended police filming a woman being flogged. "If south Sudan secedes, we will change the constitution and at that time there will be no time to speak of diversity of culture and ethnicity," Bashir told supporters at a rally in the eastern city of Gedaref. "Sharia [Islamic law] and Islam will be the main source for the constitution, Islam the official religion and Arabic the official language," he said.

We members of SuWEP from both sectors North & South met at Afhad University for Women in Khartoum during the period from 12th to 13th of December, 2010 to discuss issues that affects women in the pre’ during and post referendum periods.

Sudan's judiciary has launched an investigation into the public flogging of a woman after footage of her being whipped by laughing policemen was posted to the internet.The YouTube video shows an unidentified woman in a long black dress and a headscarf being ordered to sit down in a parking lot (Warning: Video contains graphic images of violence some may find disturbing).A uniformed policeman proceeds to whip her all over her body as she screams in pain. A second officer laughs when he realises he is being filmed, before joining in the punishment, which lasts a minute and a half.

If there is one group that faces special challenges in Southern Sudan, it is women. Principal among them is gender-based violence, which is under-reported and spreading given the long history of conflict, certain traditional practices and weak judicial systems, say specialists. Below are some key obstacles to tackling GBV in Lakes State. 

We call upon the Sudan government, UN agencies, the African Union countries, Human Rights organizations, the International community and men and women of faith across the world to join hands and stop the Sudan Parliament whose majority represents the current Sudan ruling party. The parliament continues to legalise acts of violence against women and girls, by enforcing laws that directly escalate the prevalence of violence against women and girls in our society.

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