The establishment of the Republic of South Sudan came with high hopes that it might improve the lives of women there. But women’s rights activists in the country left behind–the mostly Muslim Sudan–are bracing for a battle against an escalation of Islamic fundamentalist law. Following South Sudan’s independence, its neighbor to the north, Sudan, is left in the hands of the widely-acknowledged-to-be-corruptNational Congress Party. President Omar al-Bashir, who took power in a 1989 military coup, was criticized for introducing Sharia law (based upon patriarchal interpretations of the Koran) in 1991, in a move that was opposed by the country’s Christian and Animist population.
This is a report of the general human rights situation in Sudan from March 2005-2006. The section on women begins on page 63. It addresses the issue of the widespread practice of FGM and the government’s refusal to make the practice illegal; speaks to the instrumenalisation of women in the conflict area of Darfur, and the systematic campaign of sexual violence against them; and contains case studies and statements of victims.
This discussion paper maps the experiences of Sudanese women around the application of what is colloquially known as the “public order” regime in Sudan. It reveals that the public order regime, in all its manifestations—its underlying values, prohibitions, enforcement mechanisms, and penalties- -is having a significant impact on the lives of many women from all walks of life in Sudan, most particularly the poor, marginalised and those who challenge the status quo.
This Position Paper is published by REDRESS and KCHRED as part of the Criminal Law Reform Project in Sudan. It has been prepared in response to a number of well documented challenges in respect of how allegations of rape and other forms of sexual violence are handled in Sudan. These challenges include the absence of appropriate and effective mechanisms to protect victims and witnesses in rape and sexual violence cases and the failure of the competent authorities to carry out effective investigations and prosecutions into allegations of such crimes.
The deteriorating humanitarian situation in Sudan has led to an increase in the activities of international organizations working towards humanitarian relief, international protection, and international justice. In addition to grassroots organizations that have been working in Sudan to promote women’s rights in their local communities, many organizations are devoting countless time and resources to upholding and protecting the rights of women in Darfur to be free from violence and gain access to justice.
This report focuses on the linkage between gender and violence against girls in Sudan. Attention is given to the manner in which gender and age shape the form of violence, the circumstances in which this violence occurs and its consequences. The report places particular emphasis on domestic violence, early marriages, female genital mutilation, slavery, forced labour and trafficking of girls, violence by the state and violence against girls in the context of the armed conflict.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or the more value neutral term, Female Genital Cutting (FGC) is widely practised in northern Sudan, where around 90% of women undergo the most extensive form of FGC, infibulation. One new approach to combating FGC in Sudan is to acknowledge the previously hidden form of FGC, reinfibulation (RI) after delivery, when the woman is sewn back so much as to mimic virginity. Based on a qualitative study in Khartoum State, this article explores Sudanese women's and men's perceptions and experiences of FGC with emphasis on RI after delivery.
On 29 May, proceedings brought by the prosecutor of the Press and Publications Court against Professor Omar el Gerai, a journalist and activist, and Abdallah Sheikh, the editor ofAjras Alhurria, began in Al Shemali Court in Khartoum North. The two journalists are being tried for an article published 6 March by Professor el Gerai in Ajras Alhurria entitled “Rape…under Sharia law”, (available here in Arabic). The article detailed the brutal treatment of the youth activist and Girifna member Safiya Ishag, who was raped multiple times and subjected to torture in National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) custody following her participation in the 30 January demonstrations in Khartoum. In his piece, Mr. el Gerai called for a formal investigation.
Taking the penalty for adultery (had al-zina) as a case study, this essay attempts to address some of the practical problems associated with contemporary applications of Islamic penalties know as hudood. It looks at all four Sunni schools of law in relation to zina, and gives an in-depth discussion of their conflicting implications. In empirical terms the study investigates some court cases of zina taken from Sudan, a country in which the Islamic criminal penalties were introduced for the first time in 1983, then in 1991.
This book is a report on the prevalence of female circumcision and female genital mutilation (FC/FGM) and on the use of law and policy to address these practices. This work places FC/FGM firmly within a human rights and legal framework, although it does recognise and address the challenges inherent to this discourse. The authors look at the history of FC/FGM; its consequences for women’s health; the reasons used to justify it – i.e. culture, control over women’s sexuality, tradition, interpretation of religious directives; and the history of movement’s working to combat it.