Women's Rights in Sudan

  • Sudan Background

    Sudan Background
    Sudan is a country located in northern Africa. In 1989, an Islamic coup successfully overthrew the government ("Background Note"). The new government established Shar'ia law, which was met with resistance from the South, which was mostly non-Muslim ("Background Note"). This led to many conflicts between the Sudan and rebel groups in the south ("Background Note").
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    Sudanese Civil War

    The war between the North and the South raged for many years. The war greatly affected women in Sudan. Rape was utilized by both sides as a weapon (van Zeijl). The UN recognizes rape as a war crime because it is effective in affecting an entire community (van Zeijl). The warring ended when the UN brokered a peace treaty that gave the South the right to rule itself in 2005 ("Background Note").
  • Criminal Act- Article 152

    Criminal Act- Article 152
    The Criminal Act was passed in 1991 ("Sudan: Arrest"). Article 152 of this act prohibited indecent and immoral acts (El-Sanosi). This has been interpreted to mean that women cannot wear pants or knee-length skirts ("Sudan: Arrest"). The punishment for this is flogging, which is illegal according to the African Commission ("Sudan: Arrest").
  • Ban on Working

    Ban on Working
    The governor of Khartoum banned women from working in public places where they could come in contact with men (Afary 112). Critics of the law fear that it will lead to women only being allowed to work in the home (Afary 112).
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    Current Conditions

    Conditions for women continue to be bad. Rape is a major problem in Sudan. Women generally do not report rape because if it can't be proven they are tried for adultery (Butler). Women are not allowed to own land (Pulitzer). In many areas, girls are not able to attend school (Pulitzer). Many women are impoverished because their husbands died during the civil war. They are not allowed to remarry and cannot get a job (Pulitzer).
  • South Sudan Gains Independence

    South Sudan Gains Independence
    South Sudan gained independence from Sudan ("South Sudan"). Conditions are slightly better in South Sudan ("South Sudan").