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For years the female population of Sudan have been battling for equal rights, both in the public and private spheres of life. Thankfully, last week the Sudanese government made the decision to repeal the public order laws, moving the fight for women’s rights in the correct direction.
The public order laws dictate aspects of life that the West would deem a human right, such as women’s presence in public spaces.
Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said that because the repeal of the laws is long overdue, “Many women were arbitrarily arrested, beaten and deprived of their rights to freedom of association and expression” under the discriminatory law.
Magango calls for the transitional government to ensure that the entire public order regime is abolished, including articles that dictate female dress code that exist in the criminal law, disbanding the police and courts that enforce the laws, and abolish flogging as a form of punishment.
The laws were initially put in place in 1991 and gave public order police broad powers to arrest anyone, targeting women in particular for ‘dancing at parties, vending on the streets, and begging.’
The repeal is a significant step forward for Sudanese women and we hope that these steps continue.
If you would like to read more about HART’s work in Sudan, along with our partners there, click here.
Source: Amnesty International