Sudanese Women Glorified as Government Revokes Public Conduct

After a number of civilian deaths and protests across country, people of Sudan have finally found a reason to breathe a sigh of relief. The country’s transitional government has reportedly dissolved the former ruling party and revoked a number of laws that used to regulate women’s behavior under the former president Omar al-Bashir.

Bashir who has been in detention since April, was accredited with triggering inflation and imposing his wills upon people. His regulations, therefore, saw outrage and bloodshed, yet eventually marked victory for people after security forces withdrew their support for his regime.

On Thursday, Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which led the campaign to dethrone Bashir, said they were “an important step on the path to building a democratic civilian state”. The decision was also whole heartedly welcomed by activists, who believe that a new era for Sudan has begun.

Yosra Fuad, a women’s rights activist in Khartoum and a veteran campaigner against the public order laws, also expressed her glee and marked the movement as a success for the women’s rights movement and for other Sudanese.

Under Bashir, women were confined to follow conservative Islamic codes, which restricted freedom of dress, movement, association, work and study. The rules barred things as simple as wearing trousers, leaving the head uncovered in public and talking with other men. Contrarily, failing to comply with the edict resulted in punishments as harsh as flogging.

Sudan bared the brunt of continuous oppression under Bashir for more than three decades. However, with the repeal of ethnic code of conduct, the courageous women of Sudan can finally take pride in the freedom they have.

“The transitional government must now ensure that the entire oppressive public order regime is abolished. This includes repealing the articles dictating women’s dress code that are still in the criminal law, disbanding the public order police and the dedicated courts, and abolishing flogging as a form of punishment,” Seif Magango of Amnesty International said.

As a part of new law, Bashir’s National Congress (NCP) is also in line to see its assets seize, Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari said.

Meanwhile, Ibrahim Ghandour, an NCP leader and former foreign affairs minister said that the move was illegal and baseless. He also argued that the present situation is not stable and that the NCP would continue to exercise its rights and oppose the new law through legit and peaceful methods.

Sudan’s new law that gives women the much craved freedom was passed after a 14-hour-long meeting of Sudan’s sovereign council and cabinet. Now, as the new sun rises in chapter of Sudan’s parliamentary history, it is expected that at no stage will people and especially women have to face what they did under their former leader.

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