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Sudanese justice minister pledges to end discrimination against women

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Women massively participated in nationwide protests of 30 June 2019 (Photo Reuters)
October 19, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Justice Minister Nasr al-Din Abdel Bari on Saturday reiterated the transitional government’s commitment to abolish the Public Order Law and to amend the Criminal Code articles that violate women basic rights.

The minister made his remarks after receiving a memorandum on women rights from women groups at the inauguration of the Violence Against Women Database project launched by Darfur Lawyers Association and the Ma’an (Together) Cultural Centre.

Participants from women’s organizations raised banners calling for Sudan’s accession to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Also, they called to repeal articles in the Public Order Law and Personal Status used by the former regime to imposes illegitimate restrictions on women’s behaviour.

The Prime Minister directed "to ratify and accede to all international conventions, and in the coming period we will make partial amendments to the Criminal Code, until a comprehensive reform," Abdel Bari said.

"We at the Ministry of Justice are committed to ending all laws that oppress women, and we will work to repeal the Public Order Law and amend laws that are not in line with international conventions and conventions," he further stressed.

Under Sudan’s public order, Sudanese women face arrest and punishment of up to 40 lashes if they violate Article 152 of the Criminal Act of 1991, which broadly prohibits "indecent and immoral acts.".

Most of the offences prohibited under this law relate to gender interactions, dance, choice of dress, smoking, and other behaviours that the authorities consider as violating moral Islamic standards.

In a report on the Public Order Law in 2010; Human Rights Watch, citing police sources, said that in 2008the police brought 43,000 public order charges against women in Khartoum state alone.

Greatness of Sudanese women

For its part, Aicha Musa, a member of the Sovereign Council said the Sudanese revolution reflected the greatness of the Sudanese woman to the whole world, pointing to the role played by the Sudanese women during the four-month protests that toppled the al-Bashir’s regime.

Musa made her statements at the Opening of a photography exhibition on "Women in the Sudanese Revolution" organized by the Strategic Initiative for Women of the Horn of Africa (SIHA) and attended by the Minister of Culture and Information, Faisal Mohamed Saleh.

Aisha pointed to the huge women mobilization during the revolution against the 30-year oppressive regime to restore their dignity and pride.

"Sudanese women have proved their revolutionary strength, political ability and scientific rights because they have been able to continue the march of great women in the history of Sudan since colonization," she said.

(ST)

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